BGH announces elimination of some service departments

| May 8, 2020 1:52 PM

SANDPOINT — Due to the unprecedented negative impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bonner General Health officials announced in a Friday afternoon press release that they “made the difficult decision to restructure [the] organization and eliminate the hospital’s Cardiac Rehab, Diabetes Education, Home Health, and the Wound Care Clinic programs.

BGH is committed to assisting patients with their transition of care or service to another resource. Officials said they want to assure the affected patients and do not want them to feel they have no other option of care. There are other resources within the community that offer these services, and this factor was considered when making the tough decision to end these programs and services at Bonner General Health, the officials said. BGH will be contacting patients to review their options and help make the transition as smooth as possible.

“We have had to make the difficult decision to restructure our organization and eliminate positions and services," Sheryl Rickard, Bonner General Health CEO, said. “This decision was not taken lightly, and it has impacted many high performing employees. These were valued employees, and we are doing everything we can to support our team members as they transition out of our organization.”

Rickard said Bonner General Health, like many other healthcare facilities, has seen a decreased volume of patients throughout the hospital and outpatient service lines. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on BGH, including the state and national directive to cease all elective surgeries, has led to difficult decisions as the current scope of our operations is no longer sustainable.

BGH officials said the move does not mean that the programs and services and the employees who worked in them were not valued. All affected employees are being encouraged to apply if there are any other open positions at BGH.

“In addition, Human Resources will support employee efforts to apply for unemployment and/or positions at other facilities,” according to Shannon Barnes, chief Human Resources officer. “We know employees will have many questions as this unfolds. However, Human Resources is making every effort to get answers for employees as quickly as possible and support everyone through this most difficult transition.”

Bonner General Health, like many other healthcare facilities, has seen a decreased volume of patients throughout the hospital and outpatient service lines, hospital officials said.

"Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on BGH, including the state and national directive to cease all elective surgeries, has led to difficult decisions as the current scope of our operations is no longer sustainable, they said in the press release. "We are saddened to announce the closure of these service departments."

Hospital officials said the decision does not mean that these programs and services are not valued.

"However, our priority remains to be an independent hospital, and we need to put all our resources back into core service areas," they said in the release. "Our focus is to ensure the longevity of the hospital for our community, fulfilling our mission to provide excellent healthcare close to home."