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Wisconsin Nurse Laid Off Mid-Surgery

Wisconsin Nurse Laid Off Mid-Surgery

The Wisconsin State Journal

April 16, 2009

Pitas said Dean plans to pursue the matter, but he declined to say what the possible outcomes could be.

“Dean will continue to reiterate to its staff the importance of following all patient-care policies,” he said. “Out of respect for the (manager), we cannot discuss specifics. However, we can tell you we are looking into this, and appropriate action will be taken.”

The layoff affected 90 of the company’s 4,500 employees and reportedly focused primarily on non-patient-care positions. The terminated employees were given severance packages including job counseling and payments based on years of service.

Cheryl Koerwitz, a medical assistant who has worked for Dean for 14 years, described a stressful scene Wednesday at 10 a.m. in which Dean employees at St. Mary’s Hospital were told some were being laid off, and that if a company representative returned later in the day, that meant one or more of them was being terminated.

As it turned out, Koerwitz said, no one in her unit was laid off. However, the incident left her feeling “threatened and scared.”

Dean Health System runs dozens of area clinics and health-related entities, a health insurance company and a foundation. Of the layoffs, Craig Samitt, Dean Health System president said last week, “We do not feel patients will notice.”

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