Melissa Tacchi, Staff Writer

Dawn Rupp, registration representative for McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital, sorts through forms Thursday. (SAMANTHA LUDINGTON | The Miami Student)

In an effort to save an estimated $1.1 million annually and improve financial stability, Oxford’s McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital (MHMH) is eliminating 22 full-time positions and cutting hours.

The 36 employees who were directly affected by the cuts were either offered a different position, a scheduled hour reduction or will be collecting unemployment, according to Brian Hehemann, CEO of the hospital. This accounts for 4.8 percent of the hospital’s annual total man-hours budget.

“It is unfortunate for those who are affected by the cuts, but it was either that or be without a hospital,” said Dr. Bruce Gray, head of the anesthesiology department. “In sight of the big picture they were necessary and hopefully when the economy is better then we will re-hire.”

According to Hehemann, the general economic conditions, lower than expected patient activity levels and rising costs are responsible for the recent cutbacks. Additionally, the hospital is facing Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts while continuously paying the State of Ohio Hospital Medicaid Tax.

As of Sept. 20, certain department hours and practices were altered. According to Hehemann, the immunotherapy clinic has experienced a 25 percent cut in available weekly hours. In addition, the Brookville location will be eliminating X-ray services and will limit mammogram availability.

“The overall changes to our service hours were relatively small,” Hehemann said. “We do not foresee any impact on bedside care, customer service or family support.”

For Miami University junior Patrick Gray, son of Dr. Bruce Gray, the issues surrounding the hospital are often brought into his home life.

“The economy is hitting everywhere, not just Oxford,” Patrick Gray said. “I am sure it was difficult for my dad to cut people who have worked for him for eight years, but his hands were tied and he did what he had to for the benefit of the hospital.”

According to Hehemann, in the event that patient volumes return to a profitable measure, nine individuals have been granted preference for re-hire. For those employees who will not be returning or re-positioned, benefits will be remaining intact for 90 days per hospital policy.

“We will continue to carry out our community mission to provide premier health care services for years to come, as we have for the first 53 years of our existence,” Hehemann said. “Our staff stands for excellence, and these cost adjustments will not affect the collective commitment, dedication and pride always in existence here.”