COVID-19 puts 1,400 out of work at Michigan Medicine

Michigan Medicine is furloughing or laying off around 1,400 fulltime employees and instituting a hiring freeze that will leave 300 current job openings unfilled.

In an internal news item, the University of Michigan-affiliated health system says the moves were necessitated by its projections of losses topping $230 million this fiscal year.

The institution names the COVID-19 crisis as the cause of the contraction, stating the sudden suspension of elective procedures and regular services had crushing financial implications.

Leadership was not spared, as signaled by CEO Marschall S. Runge’s acceptance of a 20% reduction in his own compensation and his request that department chairs and other leaders also accept pay cuts.

“While we don’t take any of these decisions lightly, we believe it is a preferable outcome to broad salary reductions and allows us to preserve as many jobs as possible,” Runge says in the news item. “The important decisions we are making at this critical juncture of the pandemic are to ensure a strong and more secure future for the health system, the medical school, and our partners and affiliates.”