NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local hospitals have announced that they will be laying off some of their employees in an effort to cut costs.

According to a press release from Carthage Area Hospital and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, they will be implementing a workforce reduction that could affect 4% of the employees at each hospital, as well as Meadowbrook Terrace, Assisted Living Facility. It will be the first reduction in the workforce since 2015 for CHMC and 2014 for CAH.

The facilities explained that they furloughed some of their workforces at the beginning of the pandemic and offered early retirement to others. The press release stated that the pandemic combined with other factors continued to create financial issues for each hospital despite the facilities’ efforts to save money. Chief Executive Officer President of CAH and CHMC Richard Duvall stated that the facilities have looked at every option before reaching the decision to make cuts to their staff.

“Every effort to increase revenues and reduce costs by any other means has been exhausted. CHMC and CAH have taken deliberate approaches to examine solutions that balance employee benefits and the financial health of the organizations,” Duvall said. “We have created cooperative programs, shared staff, and cut back on spending. Employee cuts are a final resort, and one that we know will impact the lives and families of dedicated employees that serve our communities.”

Both hospitals stated that they will continue to evaluate their financial situation in the coming months in order to “ensure long-term viability and success.” Additionally, the hospitals assured residents that the reductions will not disrupt services for the institutions. Duvall also claimed that this is not a localized issue and that the hospitals will continue to do their best to serve the community.

“It’s a time for difficult decisions to keep these hospitals in their local communities. We are not the only healthcare institutions dealing with these issues or reductions, but we want to be transparent that we are doing all we can to stop further impacts on our workforce,” Duvall said. “We need to meet the needs of those we serve and they have different needs than they have had in the past. Both Claxton-Hepburn and Carthage are willing to adapt to the market needs and accommodate what patients want in their healthcare.”