Health Department lays off more than a dozen people

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email

MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - An Eastern Kentucky health department is laying off several employees and cutting hours.

Officials with the Cumberland Valley District Health Department say it was a tough decision.

“It is something that we consider a tragedy. We feel like every one of our staff plays a vital role in our community,” said Interim Director, Lynett Renner.

Fourteen Employees throughout Clay, Jackson, Harlan, and Rockcastle Counties will soon be without a job.

Officials say the cuts are a result of low state and federal funding as well as issues with managed care organizations.

“We know that one of our manage care organizations Kentucky Spirit was not paying health departments at all,” said Renner.

They say they are limiting the Department's hours as a result.

Health department officials say none of the actual programs put on by the department will be cut.

“Those services are still going to be provided; we're still assuring the health of the public,” said Renner.

State officials say the Cumberland Valley District is one of many, making cut backs.

“It's not just one area, it could be state wide, and that does not mean all health departments are doing it, but several are,” said Ron Horseman with the Department for Public Health.

Officials hope the layoffs will only be temporary, but will take effect within the next few weeks.

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