Super-sized mass layoff: West Penn Allegheny slashes 1,500 jobs

Just two weeks after Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) notified the state of Pennsylvania that up to 344 positions were at risk because it planned to stop providing hospital inpatient and emergency services at Allegheny General Hospital Suburban Campus in Bellevue, the health system announced that its two city-based acute-care hospitals, Allegheny General Hospital and Western Pennsylvania Hospital, will consolidate. The result: Up to 1,500 full-time and part-time employees, including clinical staff, will be let go by January 2011, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Most of the job cuts will occur at West Penn, where the emergency department will close this year. West Penn currently has 2,412 employees vs. 13,000 for the overall WPAHS system. WPAHS has posted an $11.6 million operating loss through the first three quarters of its current fiscal year, resulting in downgraded bond ratings from both Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's. Article