An Essential Company is Now Making Painful Layoffs in Washington

An essential company is now making painful layoffs in Washington according to a filing with the state’s Employment Security Department.

Sacred Heart Medical Center will close its children’s psychiatric unit on Sept. 7, Providence announced Tuesday.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dan Getz said financial losses and difficulty finding enough child psychiatrists led to the decision.

The Psychiatric Center for Children and Adolescents cares for children ages 12 to 17 with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, acute psychosis or other diagnoses that require inpatient hospitalization.

The unit is licensed for 24 beds, but capacity has been reduced to eight on the heels of provider shortages.

Getz said the unit needs at least four more psychiatrists amid a national shortage – especially for those specializing in inpatient pediatric treatment – that increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the unit was fully staffed, it would not be closing, he said.

The decision came through a formal process involving experts and ethics leaders who considered the nonprofit’s mission to care for the poor and vulnerable.

However, the adult inpatient psychiatric unit will not be affected.

The closure will cut about 50 positions.

Majority who work in the unit are registered nurses and mental health counselors.

Human resources will identify other employment within Providence where possible, communications director Beth Hegde said.

Over the next two months, the psychiatric team also will identify a care plan for each patient, and they will be referred to other programs in the community.

“We are not stepping away from caring for children with psychiatric needs,” Getz said.

Seeing the growing need a few years ago, Providence partnered in a joint venture with Universal Health Services to open Inland Northwest Behavioral Health, which includes 25 beds for teens on West Fifth Avenue and Browne Street.

“If we didn’t have INBH, I don’t think we could have made this decision,” Getz said.

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Also Read: Retirees Will Now Receive More Money For Social Security

Other Economy News Today

Market News Today - An Essential Company is Now Making Painful Layoffs in Washington.
Market News Today – An Essential Company is Now Making Painful Layoffs in Washington.

Applications for unemployment benefits now surge to new highs, a sign that the white-hot labor market is starting to cool off.

First-time applications for unemployment benefits rose last week to 231,000, the highest level since August, per CNN.

Thursday’s data also showed that the number of continuing claims, or applications from people who have filed for unemployment for at least one week, was 1.78 million.

That’s an increase of 17,000 from the prior week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The latest numbers come less than a week after the monthly jobs report showed the US economy added just 175,000 positions in April, less than economists expected and a steep drop-off from prior months.

US employers have now added an average of 245,500 jobs per month, versus 2023’s 251,000-per-month average.

Still, hiring remains strong. Although the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9% last month, it’s the 27th consecutive month that the jobless rate has held under 4%, matching a streak last seen in the late 1960s.

Weekly jobless claims data tends to be volatile but, while one week’s worth of data “does not a trend make,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at Fwdbonds.

“We can no longer be sure that calm seas lie ahead for the US economy if today’s weekly jobless claims are any indication.”

Company layoffs are picking up, hinting at caution on the part of companies as they weigh the outlook for the second half of the year,” he wrote in a note Thursday.

The Federal Reserve has been battling inflation by raising its key lending rate in the hopes of slowing the economy.

While the labor market has so far resisted those efforts, remaining white hot for the past 18 months despite 11 rate hikes from the central bank, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that demand has “cooled from its extremely high level of a couple of years ago.”

Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Economics said in a note Thursday: “We’d need to see at least a month of elevated readings to convince us that the trend really has turned.”

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Also Read: A Giant Company Now Announces Unexpected Layoffs in Virginia

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Market News Today - An Essential Company is Now Making Painful Layoffs in Washington.
Market News Today – An Essential Company is Now Making Painful Layoffs in Washington.

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