Administrator: Evangelical's PRIME 80 percent finished

Robert Inglis/The Daily Item Nearly all the work to the front of the new Evangelical Community Hospital PRIME project is complete.

Evangelical Community Hospital will delay pay increases for employees until January as part of its financial recovery plan of unexpected costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital made the announcement Monday as a way to "maintain its historically strong financial position."

“During the COVID-19 response and at present, the Hospital has prudently managed expenses and remains stable and solid,” Kendra Aucker, President and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital, said. “By taking decisive action with the workforce, seeking out federal and state grants, and matching the recall of furloughed employees with patient volumes, the Hospital has mitigated some of the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on operations.”

The hospital's new fiscal year is set to begin Wednesday. Among the steps being taken to reduce expenditures, the hospital will: 

  • Delaying market adjustment and merit increases until January 2021;
  • Reducing hourly staffing incentives;
  • Reducing training hours;
  • Reducing the discretionary 401K employer contribution;
  • Reducing salaries and benefits by not filling 15.7 open fulltime positions.

“We have a shared responsibility to continue meeting the health and wellness needs of our community,” said Aucker. “Our friends, families, and neighbors have come to trust the care they receive from the Hospital and our goal in all of these difficult financial decisions has been to find ways to ensure the Hospital remains an access point for care long into the future.”

Already the Hospital has significantly reduced expenditures and reduced capital spending, deferring some planned projects to later years.

Earlier this month, 27 employees opted for voluntary early retirement aiding in bridging budget gaps for the coming fiscal year and positioning the Hospital to better manage the entire workforce.

At the end of this month, the hospital will also reduce its workforce by 15 employees.

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