Hundreds of employees at Centinela Hospital Medical Center were stunned on Jan. 1 when it was announced that 238 jobs were being cut.
According to the hospital administration, employees will have 60 days to find other jobs.
“We’re in the process of restructuring the hospital and we had to make some hard decisions for the future,” said hospital CEO Von Crockett, who said that Centinela was purchased by Prime Healthcare in November.
Crockett said that the bulk of the hospital cuts will affect the employees at the hospital’s orthopedic clinic. “One of our orthopedic surgeons has elected to take his surgery to the Marina campus,” said Crockett. “A large number of employees in the orthopedic clinic and employees who supported the surgical side of the hospital are being let go.”
Crockett said that employees who also work in transportation, the nursing unit, food service and environmental services received pink slips.
To ease the job losses, the hospital has scheduled job fairs to help relocate workers.
Despite hospital cuts, the CEO said that among other goals, the hospital plans to improve the wait time in the emergency room, and that currently the average wait time for a patient to see a physician is approximately three and a half hours. “We want the wait time cut down to 20 minutes,” said Crockett. “We also want to be able to discharge a patient to their home or admit them to the hospital within two hours.”
After hearing the news of job losses, a number of Inglewood residents feared that the hospital is on the verge of closing, but Crockett said that the rumor is completely false.
“We’ve just committed to spending six million dollars to improve the hospital,” said Crockett. “We’re planning to expand our emergency room services and we’ve just added more emergency room and nursing staff.”