Keokuk Area Hospital lays off 24 employees - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Keokuk Area Hospital lays off 24 employees

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KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

Keokuk Area Hospital laid off two dozen employees Friday and hospital officials say there are more changes to come in the future.

Hospital officials say that most of the workers who were laid off were full time, and many had been long-time employees.

While this not only affects those who were laid off, some patients fear their care might be affected in the future.

William Heller says he considers himself his wife's caretaker, and says one of his duties in that role is to take his wife to her monthly trips to Keokuk Area Hospital. Something Heller says would be a greater challenge if today's layoffs lead to services being cut.

"That would mean extra stress going somewhere else," said Heller.

Heller says at his age the extra drive can be too much.

"When you're 89 and your wife is 88. The less hassles you got the better it is," said Heller.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion says receiving the news of layoffs in his city is never something he wants to hear.

"When that happens of course it is upsetting families and people who live here in Keokuk," said Marion.

But Marion says he wasn't surprised by the lay-offs because of the hospital's troubled history.

"The hospital has had some problems that past couple years. There's no hiding that. I don't know if bankruptcy is a problem right yet, but they've hired a management firm to go ahead and do what they can to improve the outlook of the hospital," said Marion.

Marion says even though layoffs have a negative impact on many families, he says the steps the hospital is taking may be the only chance to save the company.

"I think it is saving the hospital and at some point being able to reverse any trend there is so that you hire more people. You can hire people back and hopefully be able to expand your services," said Marion.

Hospital officials say even more changes will be made in the future, but would not elaborate on what services would be impacted.

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