Local News

Health Department workers could receive pink slips

SEBRING - The Health Department was told Thursday afternoon that 14 to 18 percent of the 112 workers could receive pink slips in the coming weeks. "It was a emotional day yesterday," Tom Moran, a department spokesman, said Friday. "And I was as caught up with that as much as anyone else." "We don't have any layoffs at this time," he said. Thursday was the beginning of notifications to workers that some positions could be eliminated. Workers first heard the news in April that revenues were decreasing and that the cash fund balance was down.
"We're seeing fewer patients to provide care to," Moran said. "It caused (management) to take a look at what the options are, what services we can consider providing to the community." Informational packages were given to employees about what to expect, Moran said. He was uncertain when employees will receive final notices. "The workforce reduction plan has to be submitted to the central office in Tallahassee and approved at that point." He doesn't know who will make the final decision. In the meantime, Moran said, "We are hoping that, through attrition and people retiring and resigning to find other jobs, that those employees whose positions we are losing can transfer. There will be positions open in other health departments in other counties or state agencies, and we're helping with applications and interview skills and resumes." Highlands County Health Department is at 7205 S. George Boulevard, south of Sebring. Adult and children's services include breast and cervical cancer screenings, dental examinations and procedures, family planning, maternity health, school health, HIV and AIDS tests and TB screenings. gpinnell@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5828