Twenty-four positions at Mercy Family Clinics in Sioux Rapids, Spencer and Milford are being eliminated as a result of the transition to the Avera McKennan network of hospitals and clinics in Northwest Iowa.
According to Tom Moser, Avera McKennan Senior Vice President of Operations, of the 71 positions at the three clinics, 47 will be retained.
Although the official date of the transition won't be until March 1, employees at the clinic are currently being interviewed for the purpose of applying for the 47 positions with Avera McKennan.
"The employees will know where they stand by the end of this week." said Moser. "For the sake of the employees, we don't want to drag this process out any longer than we have to."
Typically, Avera McKennan has hired all staff members of clinics which have transitioned to the Avera McKennan network, but this will not be the case with the Mercy Family Clinics, according to Moser.
"Of all the clinics Avera McKennan has been affiliated with in a three-state area, this is the first time we haven't been able to transition all of the employees," he said.
According to Moser, based on how Avera McKennan staffs and operates all of its other clinics, there were extra employees at the three clinics in Spencer, Sioux Rapids and Milford. The cuts in staffing will be made in a variety of departments in the three clinics.
"As we looked at the long-term future of the Spencer clinic and two satellite clinics, we realized there was staff that the clinics could not afford," he said.
Moser said Avera McKennan representatives began to meet with the employees at the three clinics last week. The interviews started last Friday with management, and interviews with the staff began on Monday of this week.
The large majority of employees not being transitioned to Avera McKennan will be at the Spencer Clinic, since it is the largest of the three clinics transitioning to Avera McKennan.
"For the sake of attracting and retaining good employees, as well as a strong medical staff we saw from an operational standpoint that some changes needed to be made," said Moser.
Moser said he anticipates Avera McKennan will be adding additional positions at the clinics in Spencer, Sioux Rapids and Milford over time.
"We believe Spencer is under served for primary care physicians, and we will work to add to the number," he said.
Avera McKennan is working closely with Spencer Hospital and representatives of Mercy Health Network to put together a job fair for the 24 Mercy Family Clinic Employees who will lose their jobs. The job fair is slated to take place in early February in Spencer.
"We are going to work to find opportunities for those people," said Moser.
According to Moser, positions could possibly be obtained with Avera McKennan, which has affiliated hospitals and clinics in Northwest Iowa, including Estherville, Spirit Lake, Sibley, Rock Valley, Sioux Center and LeMars.
Spencer Hospital has formally asked Avera McKennan for a business plan and proposal for them to staff and manage the clinics in Sioux Rapids and Milford on behalf of Spencer Hospital, said hospital President and CEO John Allen.