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Staff Cutbacks at Hospitals During Pandemic

Rich Egger

The administration at McDonough District Hospital said it is reducing staff because fewer services are being provided during the coronavirus crisis. The company that operates the hospital in Keokuk has also announced cuts.


In a release, the MDH administration said its reduction-in-force and furlough plan will affect 60 employees. Most will be furloughed.

The hospital declined an interview request from Tri States Public Radio. Among other things, we wanted to know what services might be affected and whether administrators or others have taken pay cuts to help ease the hospital’s financial challenges.

In the release, President and CEO Brian Dietz said MDH canceled 78 elective surgeries during the final 11 days of March at cost of $1.2 million.

He expects larger financial losses this month.

UnityPoint Health

The non-profit health system said it will be furloughing or reducing hours for staff in departments that are closed or not operating at capacity. It will also reduce executive pay by 15%.

The changes go into effect on Sunday.

UnityPoint Health operates hospitals in Keokuk and ten other Iowa communities. It is one of Iowa’s largest health systems.

The system said it has experienced unprecedented challenges and volume declines as a result of the global pandemic.

Thanks to Natalie Krebs of Iowa Public Radio for the UnityPoint information.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.