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Rice Hospital announces staff layoffs and two program closures

WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital announced today it will be lay 13 people off and will discontinue two outpatient health programs. A hospital news release called the layoffs and program cuts regrettable.

Rice said the cuts are needed to further reduce expenses because revenue and inpatients are declining. Earlier this year, the hospital decreased department budgets and overtime hours, and did not filled vacant positions.

"It's very sad that we have to cut people and services,'' said Lorry Massa, Rice CEO. "These are good programs administered by good people. Our employees have done everything that's been asked of them and more.''

The program cuts affect the Rice Diabetes and Nutrition Center and the Heart Failure Clinic. Each will close within 30 days.

Staff in a number of other departments will face reduced hours and vacant positions will not be filled, eliminating approximately 43 full-time equivalency positions.

Read more on this story Friday in the West Central Tribune.