Kent Hospital lays off nurses “in response to the changing financial climate”

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – Care New England– owner of Kent and Butler Hospitals, and Women & Infants– suffered a devastating financial loss in March.

The healthcare company reported a total loss of $44.5 million dollars just in March. $15.2 million was lost from operations, plus non-operating losses of $29.3 million (mostly investments).

As a result, Kent Hospital is now restructuring financially. The hospital is laying off seven of its nurses in the Dialysis Department.

“These women have given their careers to Kent and to the Dialysis Department,” said Trish Criner, a nurse in the hospital’s ICU department as well as the president of the local nurses union (5008 UNAP).

To fill the positions, the hospital is bringing in non-union contract employees from the Denver-based company DaVita.

“DaVita has offered the affected nurses an opportunity to work for them moving forward. While this was a difficult decision, we made it carefully and in response to the changing financial climate in healthcare,” said Kent Hospital’s President and COO Robert Haffey in a statement.

Criner said this is a horrible time to lay off any staff, especially in the Dialysis Department– which cares for COVID-19 patients who are really struggling.

“It’s a very cruel thing to do to a nurse and pretty much a slap in the face,” said Criner.

In a statement, Haffey said several similar sized hospitals in the state have moved towards contracting in-patient dialysis.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island, Warwick