CHI St. Joseph responds to furlough rumors

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - A local hospital has responded to KBTX's question about rumors of furloughed employees from the health care system.

KBTX staff were contacted from various sources alleging that hundreds of employees of CHI St. Joseph Health had been furloughed.

On Thursday, CHI St. Joseph responded to KBTX's request for confirmation and comment with this statement:

“The care and safety of our patients and staff are our highest priority. Please be assured that CHI St. Joseph Health facilities have the staff needed to effectively and expertly care for all of our patients, including patients who may have COVID-19.

"In the process of preparing to care for an influx of COVID-19 patients and in aligning with advice from public health experts, we canceled elective and non-critical services resulting in significant declines in volumes. Health systems across the country are experiencing similar circumstances and challenges during this public health crisis. We continue to look at every possible way to reduce costs and take advantage of resources available to our ministry, including federal funding recently approved by Congress. While those funds are welcomed, they will not be sufficient to address our financial challenges.

"Though we have already taken other measures to reduce our costs – including salary deductions for leaders, and a temporary pause on hiring of non-essential positions – we must ensure that staffing levels align with current volumes. We recognize that these temporary measures affect many inside and outside of our organization, and this is not a decision we take lightly.”