Tuesday morning, fresh from Labor Day and a thankfully not-too-close call with Gustav, some 70-ish employees heard about their jobs being cut at UTMB. The news made the pages of the Daily News on Wednesday, and a message from clinical leadership circulated in the hospitals.
I’m optimistic about our future; I see a lot of great things finally coming together. I see a sense of urgency in what we do. I feel as if people are coming to understand that health care (and the business of delivering care) is in the grips of major change, driven by rising costs, competition, access to information, consumer choice, increasing government pressure. I think the nation’s economic crunch and the rising cost of everything is most certainly affecting us and other health providers; I know it’s affected decisions I’ve made.
We heard at the last Town Hall meeting that the economic climate and our current fiscal condition were going to cause some short-term pain, as plans and ongoing work toward a more prosperous future gained momentum. Seventy people out of a workforce our size doesn’t sound like much; it’s a “drop in the bucket,” the sort of adjustment or cost cutting that in the world of business, investors might be laud as “smart” or efficient. But to us at UTMB, it isn’t a number or an upward tick on our stock price. We know these 70 people; we count them as friends and colleagues. I don’t think anybody—including those making the decisions—can say they feel smart or good about it. Best of luck to those directly affected. I’m a believer that given the chance, things usually work out pretty well. The best of luck to you.