Medford, Ore. -- The Community Health Center is laying off eight full time employees in an attempt to meet financial challenges.
CEO William North said they risk facing a several hundred thousand dollar deficit if they don't make changes to their operations. Something he blames on the shortage of medical care providers.
North said they're actually down 15 staff members. Seven left earlier this year and they never filled the positions. But he said the layoffs won't affect patients, saying there were no independent practitioners involved. The Community Health Center has temporary help to make up for any potential shortage.
"Our access to appointments is as good or better than it's ever been and we will maintain that as a priority," North said.
He also said they've spent the past year preparing to serve an increasingly large pool of people with access to health care. They've ramped up their recruiting process and are looking to hire four or five physicians, nurse practitioners, and physicians assistants to fill positions in White City and Medford.
Along with the layoffs some staff positions will shift to other sites. Another change, Ashland's Community Health Center will now be closed on Fridays. Management positions and responsibilities are consolidating. And use of technology and electronic health records, such as MyChart, will be promoted.