CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois Healthcare has asked employees in some departments and roles to take an extra 40 hours off during the next two weeks.
“The decision to ask employees to take this time off was not made lightly. It is two-fold. Foremost, to comply with the Illinois governor’s request to shelter-in-place and support social distancing. Second, with elective surgeries on hold and cancellations in the thousands across the system, our volumes are down tremendously. Many departments are not operating at full or even 50% of their normal capacity. We believe this will change as more people are tested for COVID-19,” SIH Spokesperson Rosslind Rice said.
She explained that staff in patient-care roles, such as nurses, patient care techs, housekeeping and food service personnel, will not be affected. Leaders who manage a department, staff members who are replaced by others when they are absent, and those involved in incident command also are excluded.
Staff who were asked to take extra time off have many different roles. They include those who work in registration, billing, finance, physician recruitment, compliance, education and research.
“Those are some of the areas that are able to more easily flex their staffing for a week or two,” she said.
Employees may take paid time off that they have earned. If they do not have time to take, they will have to take time without pay.
Rice added that it’s hard to say how many members of SIH staff are impacted because many hospital patient care departments routinely flex their staff up and down as their needs change. Also, a large number of employees are involved in the incident command process.
Rice said this is not intended to be a layoff.
“This incident is very fluid and our staffing needs change daily. As the situation evolves, we may need staff to fill in roles, shifts and locations other than their usual job. Ultimately, our goal is to return to business as usual as soon as possible,” Rice said.
Southern Illinois Healthcare provides health care services to patients in Southern Illinois through SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, SIH Herrin Hospital and SIH St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro, and its clinics, physician offices and dedicated centers for neurology, cancer, heart, sleep and rehabilitation.
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