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SSM Health Care can't confirm or deny layoffs

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The parent company of St. Mary’s Health Center (SMHC) in Jefferson City, SSM Health Care, said it cannot confirm or deny a St. Louis Post Dispatch report that it will be downsizing jobs in its network of hospitals and clinics.

A spokesperson for a St. Louis subsidiary of SSM Health Care told the Post-Dispatch the company would make announcements to employees later this week, but did not state the number of jobs that might be cut or which areas the layoffs would affect.

SSM Health Care owns 11 hospitals and health care centers in Missouri and a total of 18 hospitals in Illinois, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Missouri. The company employs a combination of about 15,000 physicians and nurses.

SSM media relations system director, Steve VanDinter, said the Post-Dispatch misinterpreted an SSM employee’s comment, but would not confirm or deny the report.

SMHC communications coordinator, Heather Feeler, said SSM holds its employees as its first priority.

“I am not able to confirm anything,” Feeler said. “But I can tell you that if our organization were going through reduction, our primary goal would be to ensure that our employees heard personally from us about any organizational changes first.”

SMHC  is also in the process of constructing a new facility on Mission Drive in Jefferson City costing $200 million. Hospital officials expect the facility to open in November 2014.

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