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St. Francis laying off 110; closing Ewa hospice unit

By Kristen Consillio

LAST UPDATED: 03:30 p.m. HST, May 05, 2014

St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii said it is laying off 110 of its 380 employees when it closes its in-patient hospice unit in Ewa and home health programs on Oahu and Kauai.

The home health care program will operate through June 30, while the in-patient hospice unit will continue through Sept. 30. Hospice patients will be accepted at the Ewa facility, on the former St. Francis Medical Center campus, through Aug. 1.

The affected employees include nurses and nonclinical administrative support staff. 

"This is a difficult time for all of us at St. Francis. Having to scale back some of our services and lose great employees is not easy," Jerry Correa, St. Francis' president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We have had to assess which programs and services best support our multi-year strategic plan and the decisions we are making today will help us to be more financially sustainable in the future, so that we can carry on the legacy of the Sisters of St. Francis."

There are no plans for cuts to any other programs.

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SOLID3 wrote:
I think the Sisters are turning in their graves at the thought of this most vital service closing it's doors. Hospice has helped so many patients who are terminally ill and the family's who depend on the dedicated staff at St Francis. I don't know the financial part of it but I do believe the State should help fund such an important cause. Are there any politicians out there with a Heart willing to Help, I pray for one. God Bless.
on May 5,2014 | 03:09PM
jtamura69 wrote:
So true! Too bad the politicians have their own agenda or they would all know that this is important for the people of Hawaii.
on May 5,2014 | 04:33PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
SOLID3, it was Sister Beatrice and Sister Gretchen who drove the hospital into financial ruin by ignoring their financial advisers and spending millions of dollars on frivolous items, including spending needless money on attorney's fees bringing lawsuits and administrative proceedings in court and federal administrative agencies rather than settling those cases, only to lose in the end. The State should not throw good money after bad. Bailing out financially mismanaged hospitals is how the State got snared in the HHSC debacle in the first place.
on May 5,2014 | 04:51PM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Huh. Name one lawsuit where St. Francis "brought the action." And what kind of frivolous purchases?
on May 5,2014 | 05:42PM
Beaglebagels wrote:
Amen EducatedLocalBoy! Glad somebody here knows what they are talking about!
on May 5,2014 | 08:49PM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Seriously? $aint Franci$ got $20 million last year for the sale of Hawaii Medical Center West to Queen's and they STILL can't be financially solvent for a year after the sale? Where did the money go? Smells like mismanagement, and sacrificing the loyal St. Francis employees all over again. That's becoming the St. Francis legacy.
on May 5,2014 | 05:09PM
Heinbear wrote:
That is truly sad. I have know quite a few folks who have peacefully spent their last days there. This is what happens when Health Care is run as an "for profit" business.
on May 5,2014 | 03:20PM
jmarie wrote:
This is a sad day, a very caring staff! Thank you for your service.
on May 5,2014 | 03:28PM
Frances wrote:
I believe that Queen's Hospital has made the health care industry so competitive, they are driving these smaller hospitals out of business, then gobbling up the shuttered facilities to expand. Queen's has a mega-plan which includes lots of great PR, well-paid lobbyists to influence key decision-makers and elected officials, to be THE major health provider in the Pacific. While this plan may, on the surface, seem admirable, we should not be fooled. It's all about money. Queen's does not care about people, and they do not keep their word. We need to watch them closely, watch how much money flows into campaign donations from Queen's officials,etc...mark my words.
on May 5,2014 | 03:36PM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Actually, Queen's would make more money if it dumped the hospital side of its business. You forget about Queen Emma Land Company, which owns some lucrative properties, including a few hotels in Waikiki and the former International Marketplace. I don't see Queen's as altruistic at all, but if all they really wanted to do is make money, they'd get out of healthcare and focus on their property holdings. And it loses money every time it brings another hospital on board. Molokai General and North Hawaii Community Hospitals are more like money pits than gold mines, if you're looking at it only through financial eyes.
on May 5,2014 | 05:29PM
South76 wrote:
I just need to respond to this inaccurate portrayals of the hospitals here in Hawaii. I work for one of them. To set up a hospital in Hawaii one MUST be for non-profit, meaning it MUST take in anyone who comes into its Emergency Department whether that sickly person has the means to pay the bill or not. Remember a few years back, a mainland company was going to set up a for profit on Maui and got denied permit to set up one. ALL hospitals in Hawaii without their land trusts, donated money and government assistance would go the way St. Francis did a few years back. Queen's and other hospitals are NOT for profit hospitals, learn the facts before spewing any negative comment about a certain hospital.
on May 5,2014 | 11:49PM
coco8boone wrote:
St Francis Hospice staff God Bless you all. The wonderful, knowledgeable, caring staff has helped many families through the years. I was fortunate to have them at my side through the passing of my loving mother.
on May 5,2014 | 03:40PM
South76 wrote:
St. Francis Hospice has provided a valuable place for those who are on the last journey of their lives on earth. It has provided families a peace of mind that their loved one is in the best care as they transition from this world to the next journey.
on May 5,2014 | 11:56PM
kainalu wrote:
My mom passed away in that facility, so this tough to hear.
on May 5,2014 | 03:45PM
nolerd wrote:
So sad to hear. Not only the staff members, but mostly for the PATIENTS. Greedy insurances.
on May 5,2014 | 04:21PM
pcman wrote:
IRT nolerd. Don't blame only insurances. The main culprit is Obamacare that is forcing job cutbacks and reduced health care benefits through MEDICARE and MEDICAID.
on May 5,2014 | 10:12PM
South76 wrote:
I agree, Medicare and Medicaid money are being diverted to support the lazy bums through obamacare
on May 5,2014 | 11:58PM
808behappy wrote:
My grandfather just passed away under St. Francis's Hospice care. So sad to see such a good service closing down. Thank you taking care of my grandpa and our grandma 5 years ago too!
on May 5,2014 | 05:00PM
jmk11 wrote:
So sorry to hear this sad news
on May 5,2014 | 05:21PM
roadsterred wrote:
Does the implementation of the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare have anything to do with this? Just asking because the institution definitely was not self-supporting. Need more information on how it was funded.
on May 5,2014 | 05:36PM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
No. Obamacare it started this year. St. Francis has a decades-long history of laying off staff because they can't make budget.
on May 5,2014 | 06:06PM
pcman wrote:
IRT roadster on ACT. Yes on two counts. St Francis cannot afford to pay for the new ACA requirements for employees.Like many other businesses staff have to be cut to be financially manageable. Second MEDICARE and MEDICAID no longer provide for long term care unless you require constant ICU-type life saving care. This is part of the ACA reduction of $700Billion from Medicare over ten years.
on May 5,2014 | 06:12PM
Hitaxpayer wrote:
I hate St. Francis. When they closed the liver center at HMC east they sentenced my girlfriend to death.
on May 5,2014 | 06:46PM
Skyler wrote:
They helped my friend with 'hospice at home' - sad to see 2 of the most important parts of patient care be dropped.
on May 5,2014 | 07:02PM
jaluasa wrote:
Wow, this is very sad to hear. The nurses and support staff were intergral in helping my family and I care for our mom in her final days with us.
on May 5,2014 | 08:53PM
surfandthink wrote:
This is truly bad news for Oahu: the super-skilled (and compassionate) hospice workers of St. Francis will be hard to replace. In one fell swoop we may be losing half our hospice facilities on this island. Who fill this void? Hopefully, not island's ICUs: unless we want to significantly increase our end-of-life pain and suffering. St. Francis' management may not the world's most competent. But to lose this pool of skilled hospice staff workers is beyond shortsighted. This is an island after all and these people don't grow on trees. Yes, it takes a lot of expertise to understand needs of the dying. Eventually, we will all die. So this decision will affect all of us: it will burden the ICUs and significantly raise the cost of end-of-life care on Oahu; not to mention the added cost of suffering for both patients and their caregivers. Is someone doing the math?
on May 6,2014 | 12:39AM
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