Northside job losses higher than originally reported


By Jordyn Grzelewski

jgrzelewski@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The number of employees affected by the closure of Northside Regional Medical Center is higher than originally reported by Steward Health Care.

That’s according to a revised notice filed with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services on Friday.

Steward, which announced Wednesday it will shutter the Gypsy Lane hospital Sept. 20, had previously reported 388 positions would be impacted. The revised notice reports the potential number of affected employees is 468.

The position with the largest number of job losses is registered nurses with about 35 percent of the 468 positions, according to the notice.

A Steward spokeswoman called the notification to JFS “a multi-day process.”

“Every employee has been contacted about the intended closure and should the closure process take place, employees of Northside Regional Medical Center will be paid through Oct. 14 and compensated for accrued benefits,” said Trish Hrina. “Steward is dedicated to working with employees to transition them to new positions. There are 200 job openings between Trumbull Regional Medical Center, Sharon Regional Medical Center, Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital alone, as well as openings at area Steward medical practices.”

Steward plans to host on-site job fairs Thursday and Sept. 6. Other local hospital systems, such as Mercy Health, also have some job openings for those affected by the closure.

At a news conference Thursday, some of the nurses who work at Northside said they don’t think Steward did enough to attract new patients. Steward has cited its low census numbers as the reason for the closure, saying four out of five beds are routinely empty at the facility. The nurses said Steward could have done more to turn the hospital around since it purchased it last year.

“We have said all along that Steward is much more than a hospital company. We’re an accountable care organization and we’re growing in this market – adding leading physicians to our practices and maintaining our commitment to great care in the region,” Hrina said in response. She said other area Steward hospitals are “thriving.”

“Unfortunately, that has not been the case for Northside. The hospital has experienced a 10-year decline across all service lines,” Hrina said. “Every part of the hospital has been affected. ... The Youngstown community simply isn’t using the hospital and the situation is unsustainable.”

NORTHSIDE AS VA FACILITY?

In other news related to the closure, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, commented on it Friday while he was autoworkers in Lordstown.

Brown said he has been in touch with officials at Mercy Health about absorbing some of the job losses.

He also said he plans to speak with White House officials about possibly turning Northside into a Veterans Affairs clinic. Youngstown has a VA outpatient clinic, but veterans often have to travel to facilities closer to Cleveland and Pittsburgh for other services.

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