Premier Health outsourcing services that will affect 600+ jobs

FILE
FILE

No permanent job losses are expected, company tells Ohio

Dayton-based hospital network Premier Health is outsourcing nutritional and environment services that will affect more than 600 employees, according to a layoff notice sent to the state.

In a letter to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Stacey Lawson, Premier’s vice president, human resources, says the hospital company is “transitioning” its environmental and nutritional services to a new company, Compass One Healthcare.

ExploreDayton’s largest hospital network to reduce workforce this year

“At this time, the plan is that all employees currently working in these departments will be offered positions with the external partner and therefore, the transition will not result in any employment losses,” the letter says. “However, out of an abundance of caution, we are providing this notice.”

The outsourcing will impact 424 employees in Dayton, 115 in Middletown and 87 in Troy, according to the state notice.

The change is expected to be permanent, Lawson’s letter says.

“Premier Health is transitioning the operation of its environmental services and nutritional services departments to Compass One Healthcare, effective January 10, 2021, which includes transitioning all employees who work in these departments to Compass,” Premier said in a statement to the Dayton Daily News.

“It is the current expectation that these employees will continue to work in the same locations and under similar terms and conditions with Compass," the business added. "Premier Health is undergoing this transition to leverage Compass' expertise to enhance the patient experience at our sites of care, as we continue to focus on our core competency — quality patient care — while managing our costs.”

Compass combines two health care support businesses: Crothall Healthcare, whose expertise includes environmental services; and Morrison Healthcare, whose focus is food service in the health care sector, Premier added.

Ben Sutherly, a spokesman for Premier, said the company’s plan is to offer affected employees jobs. He confirmed that permanent layoffs are not expected.

In October, Premier said it planned to reduce its workforce by about 1% to 2% this year, a local manifestation of the unique pressures hospitals across the country are facing in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier has about 13,000 employees in the Dayton area.

News of the workforce cuts comes at a time when hospital systems and health care companies are laboring under something of a paradox. Because of the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, some patients may be wary of seeing doctors for routine health care, all while that very pandemic is making health care arguably more important than ever.

The WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice) letters were posted Thursday on the state’s website. Generally, companies of a certain size are required to notify Ohio government of more than 50 layoffs in the space of a month.

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