Duluth-based Essentia Health to lay off 900 employees
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Essentia Health said Thursday it is laying off 900 employees as the coronavirus pandemic cuts into business.
Essentia Health CEO David Herman said in a statement that the recent cost-reduction measures the Duluth-based health care system has taken “are not sufficient to preserve our mission and the health of the organization.”
The cuts represent 6% of Essentia’s workforce, the Star Tribune reported. The cuts are in addition to 850 Essentia employees who have been placed on administrative leave.
Essentia is the largest employer in Duluth with more than 6,000 employees in the northeastern Minnesota city. The health system has about 14,500 employees in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
More than 450 jobs will be lost in the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin, with the rest of the layoffs spread across Fargo, North Dakota; Detroit Lakes, Brainerd and other regional locations.
About 20% of the layoffs affect staff in direct patient care. The rest is spread across support services.
Minnesota hospitals are dealing with a steep drop in business while preparing for an expected surge of COVID-19 patients. Routine visits have been postponed and elective surgeries were not allowed until recently.
“While surgeries and procedures are restarting at our facilities, we are approaching that process carefully and slowly to protect our communities, patients and staff, preserve personal protective equipment and ensure available hospital beds for COVID-19 patients,” Essentia said in a news release.
The Minnesota Nurses Association said none of its members are affected by the layoffs.