Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation announces layoffs and furloughs

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The President and CEO of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Dan Winkleman, announced they will furlough or layoff 300 employees in a memo to staff on April 24. YKHC started notifying impacted employees on April 29 and notifications will continue through May 8.

The layoffs will largely affect non-providers at YKHC. The employee furlough will last for four weeks but furloughed employees will only be brought back if patient rates increase. If daily rates remain low, the remaining furloughed employees will also be laid off. There is also the possibility of additional layoffs if customer rates are low over the next few months.

Winkelman cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the main reason for these layoffs. The layoff announcement stated the corporation was losing $5-8 million a month because of a decrease in daily visits to health care facilities. Winkelman’s statement also said the state order to cancel non-urgent medical travel to regional clinics of the hospital in Bethel also reduced their low customer amounts.

The YKHC is slated to receive some CARES Act funds, but since those funds are specifically intended for COVID-19 response costs, they will not prevent the company from losing money on daily operations.

YKHC is a nonprofit tribal organization based in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta with its corporate office and main health care facilities in Bethel.

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