Tri-State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston has put about 80 employees on a furlough of an unspecified length of time to compensate for the financial hit the hospital is taking because of the coronavirus pandemic.

None of the employees lost their jobs and most of those who went on furlough did so voluntarily, according to a prepared statement from hospital CEO Don Wee.

Other people on the hospital’s staff of more than 600, including administrators, physicians and nurse practitioners, will be taking one day off per pay period without pay, he said.

“These actions are due to the severe reduction in loss of revenues from the mandate of no elective outpatient procedures and the effects of (Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s) Stay Home, Stay Healthy (order),” Wee said.

Tri-State shared information about its staffing changes on the same day it announced it has received $50,000 each from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Beatriz and Edmund O. Schweiter III. SEL was founded by Edmund Schweitzer. The $100,000 will go to the hospital’s COVID-19 response fund.

Tri-State isn’t the only hospital in the region needing to tighten its budget at a time when its staff has to be prepared for a potential surge in critically ill patients suffering from COVID-19.

Last week, Pullman Regional Hospital announced that all of its more than 500 employees were taking a 25 percent pay cut for 60 days, including nurses, administrators and technicians, to save $1 million.

Similarly, Whitman Hospital and Medical Clinics in Colfax has reduced hours for about 10 percent of its staff.

Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.

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