Courtesy of Waterbury Hospital
Waterbury Hospital announced Thursday that it would seek to stabilize its financial condition by eliminating 80 full-time equivalent positions.

“Sadly, community hospitals across the state and country are facing enormous challenges from state and federal reimbursement cutbacks, the impact of healthcare reform, a changing marketplace, and healthcare services shifting to outpatient settings,” Darlene Stromstad, president and CEO of Waterbury Hospital, said in a press release. “These dynamics are especially difficult for hospitals like Waterbury Hospital which serve as a safety net hospital caring for the most vulnerable patients and community members.”

The workforce reduction is the first part of a four-point plan for the struggling hospital. In addition to the layoffs, the hospital plans to eliminate and postpone all non-patient care initiatives, close community blood-draw stations, consolidate physician practices, and look for potential outsourcing opportunities.

The news comes just a few days after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy sent a letter to the private hospital chain, which withdrew a proposal to purchase the hospital in December. In the letter, Malloy asked Tenet Healthcare Corporation’s CEO, Trevor Fetter, to keep the conversation going in hopes of completing the deal.

Malloy told Fetter that he’s concerned about the Waterbury community and what could happen to the hospital. Waterbury Hospital is the first of five that were going to convert from nonprofit to for-profit as part of the deal. Tenet also was proposing to acquire Saint Mary’s in Waterbury, Bristol Hospital, Manchester Memorial Hospital, and Rockville General Hospital in Vernon.

There’s no word from Tenet as to whether they have accepted the governor’s offer.