‘Hundreds’ of Spectrum Health workers laid off

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Spectrum Health says the number of employees losing their jobs because of cuts linked to coronavirus is “in the hundreds.”

The West Michigan health care giant refused to provide a precise number.

When it became clear last week that layoffs at Spectrum were imminent, the system said the roles being eliminated were not in patient care.

It has also refused to say whether any of the laid off workers may return after normal operations resume or, if so, how many; only saying last week that “With the accelerated rate of change in the organization’s operations, there will be some positions that will not be needed in the future.”

Spectrum says it is the region’s largest employer, with some 31,000 workers.

Spectrum and other hospitals across the state have been forced to lay off employees because of efforts meant to combat coronavirus. They stopped nonurgent procedures, which account for the bulk of their revenue, to make sure there were enough beds and personal protection equipment available in the event of a surge and to further limit interaction to slow the spread of the virus.

With the number of cases stabilizing, many hospitals are moving this week to resume some elective procedures, with state officials saying doctors have discretion to decide what should go forward.