As a nonprofit health care organization serving communities all across the country, it has never been more important that we be there for our patients and our employees. The public-health crisis caused by COVID-19 is placing intense strain on our health care resources, and the response from our clinicians and staff is nothing short of heroic. Despite this, the pandemic is causing significant financial challenges for hospitals across the country, many of which are experiencing large declines in revenues and volumes across the country – caused in part by the cancellation of elective procedures to ensure capacity and reduce transmission of the virus.
We must continue to act to make sure we can keep providing patient care and supporting our employees. Today we are taking additional steps to do just that, including a salary deduction for our CEOs and executive leadership team.
All executives will take a temporary deduction in their salaries until the end of June of up to 20%. And staff at our system offices will be asked to participate in a flex time off initiative between now and the end of June. Depending on developments with the pandemic, we may need to reassess the end date and will do so in June. The goal of each of these actions is to help ensure we have the resources necessary to support our mission and continue delivering care to our communities. We continue to look at every possible way to reduce costs and take advantage of the resource available to us, including new federal funding recently approved by Congress.
Over the last few weeks we’ve taken a series of steps to support our employees and communities. For our employees, we’ve created flexibility in our vacation and childcare policies, set up a relief fund, created support programs like benefit premium protection, opened grocery stores within our hospitals for our staff, and exhausted every avenue to secure enough supplies and protective equipment so our caregivers and patients are safe. To help make sure we’re meeting our patients’ needs, we’ve expanded capacity, stood up special COVID-19 units and hospitals across the country, secured more ventilators and other equipment, temporarily suspended billing patients for care related to COVID-19, and provided free virtual health visits for people with COVID-19 symptoms.
As health care professionals, this moment is unlike anything we have seen before. It has forced us to make hard choices that we could have never dreamed of having to make. At the same time, is has left us awed and inspired at the response from our employees and our communities who have put each other first over and over again. We can and must match their commitment to being in this together.
We will continue to share updates on additional actions we are taking as an organization. For the latest information, please visit www.catholichealthinitiatives.org/covid-19 and www.dignityhealth.org/covid-19.