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Valley Health Announces Paycheck Protection Plan

Valley Health Announces Paycheck Protection Plan

Board of Trustees endorses plan to commit up to $50 million to sustain workforce in response to COVID-19 pandemic

At a time when many local businesses are laying off employees or closing, hundreds of health systems nationally are furloughing large portions of their workforce, and record numbers of Americans are filing for unemployment, Valley Health is committed to standing by our employees and community, and minimizing the impact of this pandemic.

That’s why the Valley Health Board of Trustees has authorized up to an additional $50 million to supplement employee pay over the next 90 days. This Paycheck Protection Plan, commits the necessary resources from reserve funds to retain and pay our more than 6,000 caregivers for the next 90 days.

As the region’s largest employer, we intend to maintain a minimum 70% of the base pay for all full time and part time employees who may be experiencing a reduction in their work hours due to COVID-19. Individuals can supplement with paid time off.

Valley Health President and CEO, Mark H. Merrill, states that “We are taking these steps to ensure that Valley Health remains a financially strong organization, and more importantly, to ensure that we are well-positioned to fulfill our mission to provide safe, quality care to our friends, neighbors and loved ones, today and into the future.”

Our swift embrace of social distancing and flattening the curve has successfully reduced personal interaction across all sites of care. We have postponed elective surgeries and procedures, non-urgent outpatient visits and outpatient diagnostic testing at our six hospitals. Valley Health wellness and fitness centers and outpatient rehabilitation sites remain closed.

Valley Health leaders acknowledge the difficulty of sustaining payroll when many services have been curtailed or temporarily suspended. To maintain our valued workforce, we have initiated strategies in addition to our Paycheck Protection Plan.

These include: A system-wide hiring freeze for non-essential positions, reduced hours for certain non-essential staff, required use of paid time off, adjustments in employee compensation including postponing annual merit pay increases, and deferring all non-essential capital spending. The goals are to minimize the impact on employees and enable the organization to retain staff until normal operations can resume.

“Valley Health’s employee-caregivers are our single most important asset,” said Joseph F. Silek, Chair of the Valley Health System Board of Trustees; “accordingly, the top priority of the board and the management team is to assure they are retained to the fullest extent possible during this especially challenging time.”

Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this pandemic as we remain steadfast in our commitment to serving our community by improving health.