VUMC firings to top 300

Children’s hospital among units taking hits

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has terminated the jobs of at least 300 employees, with further cuts — either firings or layoffs — likely forthcoming.

Sources close to the situation have told the Post that the first round of terminations could hit 375. Of the 300 people already cut, an undetermined number were employees at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks and roughly 35 had worked at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. The latter figure is believed to be the single greatest job slicing at one time at the children’s hospital, which opened in 2004 and was expanded last year.

Sources said VUMC officials are describing the cuts as terminations and not layoffs. As such, it’s not clear if any of the fired employees will be replaced. When contacted, VUMC officials declined to specify.

Sources said the employees were cut, in large part, based on below-par Credo scores, which are based on a subjective six-behavior performance evaluation tool. Sources said that, beginning this spring, numerous employees began receiving evaluations that were notably more negative that had been the case previously.

VUMC issued the following statement from spokesman John Howser, assistant vice chancellor for medical center news and communications: “Our longstanding policy is not to comment on personnel matters involving individual employees. We are an institution constantly in pursuit of excellence, aggressively meeting the challenges currently facing not only Vanderbilt but the nation’s entire health care industry. We are committed to the very highest level of care for our patients, which includes addressing workplace performance as necessary.”

The job cuts came as VUMC started its 2013-14 fiscal year still getting to grips with federal health care spending cuts courtesy of sequestration. Earlier this year, VUMC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Jeff Balser said the organization needed to generate $50 million in savings — a number that would build on $40 million saved since the beginning of 2012.