Ballad Health announces 150 job layoffs

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) - Ballad Health is in the process of eliminating 150 "currently occupied positions," according to the newly formed organization. An email sent from CEO Alan Levine to employees shortly before lunch Tuesday reveals some of those impacted may not even know it yet.

"Supervisors and human resource staff will be meeting with the affected team members over the next few days to let them know about these decisions," Levine wrote. "I want to assure you our goal is to treat every team member with dignity and respect, and we will do our best to help ease the transition for those who are being displaced." 

Ballad Health reports the elimination of duplicative jobs include senior-level executives, middle management and front-line team members. Those jobs are in addition to 49 empty positions already eliminated through attrition.


"Our goal is to treat every team member with dignity and respect, and we will do our best to help ease the transition for those who are being displaced," the statement said. "Severance pay and comprehensive outplacement services will be offered to affected team members, and the team members are eligible to apply for other open positions within Ballad Health if they choose. It is important to note that Ballad Health currently has more than 700 vacant positions and is seeking to hire people into those positions. More than half of these positions are in nursing."

Ballad Health administrators previously estimated the merger would impact 250 positions. The organization estimates the region would have lost 1,000 jobs had Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System not merged.


"The shift from duplicative administrative positions to the continued hiring of needed clinical positions is indicative of Ballad Health's effort to reduce the overall cost of health care," Ballad Health said.

The organization equates the impact of the cuts to about 1% of its total workforce, most of which include administrative and support positions.

"There is no doubt that any time a decision is made that adversely affects our colleagues, our primary concern is for them and their families," Ballad Health said. "Unlike in the case where large out-of-market health systems acquire smaller ones, and then impose synergies on the local market, when we make a decision that impacts our colleagues, we are affecting our neighbors and friends. So, these decisions are made soberly and with a full understanding of the impact both on the individuals themselves and on the health system." 

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