Akron -- Summa Health, which employees about 7,000 people statewide, announced Oct. 5 that an undisclosed number of those employees will be laid off.
Mike Bernstein, director of corporate communications and public relations, released a statement saying the decision to reduce staff is "never easy and is done only following a thoughtful analysis of the needs of our patients, the community and the organization."
"The reality is, as the delivery of healthcare continues to evolve, we continue to see changes to the staffing levels of healthcare organizations across the nation and throughout Northeast Ohio," Bernstein wrote. "This is true for Summa as we move away from the costly fee-for-service model of care and towards a population health model in which we hold ourselves not only clinically responsible, but also financially accountable for health outcomes in the community."
Summa Health includes Summa Akron City Hospital, Summa St. Thomas Hospital, Summa Barberton Hospital, Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital, Summa Rehab Hospital and the Crystal Clinic Orthopedic Center.
Bernstein declined to give a time frame for the layoffs or how much Summa hopes to save with the moves. Summa will help provide job search assistance to impacted employees, Bernstein said.
Sometimes the difficult decisions "are ultimately in the best interests of the people we serve," he wrote.
"By doing so we are able to remain focused on aligning patients with total health, empowering decision making and continuously striving for new and better health solutions across the continuum of care," he added.
Spokesman Mark Bosko said Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls "does not follow Summa Health operations initiatives -- we are a separate business entity."
Summa Health is a minority partner in Western Reserve Hospital along with Western Reserve Hospital Partners (the majority partner), according to Bosko.
Bosko added that Western Reserve has "absolutely" no plans for layoffs.