Joplin's St. John's Medical Center to cut jobs

Friday, November 14, 2008 | 3:35 p.m. CST

JOPLIN — St. John’s Regional Medical Center is eliminating 160 jobs as part of a plan to cut $30 million in expenses and preserve the hospital’s core services.

St. John’s also is closing its primary-care clinics in Girard, Kan., and Grove, Okla., and changes are pending at its Neosho clinic.

"This is about finding a successful strategy for the future, not the past,’’ said George Caralis, interim president and chief executive officer. "We are refocusing on our core areas that are integral to being a hospital.’’

While 160 positions are being cut, Wednesday’s announcement affects fewer than that because the number includes nearly 20 middle management jobs that were eliminated last week.

The hospital’s work force will be about 2,200, about the same as it employed in 2000.

Caralis said competition with another local hospital, Freeman Health System, for medical insurance contracts is a main reason for the cuts. But he said St. John’s also is struggling with an increased number of uninsured patients and Medicaid reimbursements that haven’t changed in eight years.




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