Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Elks Rehab to end services statewide

St. Luke’s to assume physical therapy services as of October

Express Staff Writer

    Elks Rehab System of Idaho will end all clinical services at the end of September, according to communications to Idaho municipalities from the statewide Elks system, and St. Luke’s Health System plans to assume control of physical-therapy services.
    Six locations statewide are closing as of Oct. 1, according to public letters from the regional Elks administration, including those in Ketchum and Hailey. Plans were made public under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires employers to provide 60 days’ notice in advance of mass closures and layoffs.
    Some 516 Elks employees will be affected, including 13 from the Ketchum branch and five from Hailey’s location, according to a letter from Elks Chief Executive Officer Melissa Honsinger to Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas and Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle on July 31. The majority of layoffs will affect Elks employees in Boise, the letters indicate.
    At the Ketchum location, two clinical secretaries, two physical therapy assistants, eight physical therapists and a speech pathologist will be affected by the layoffs, the letter states.
    The jobs of two clinical secretaries, one physical therapist, one site manager and a speech pathologist at the Hailey location could be affected as well.
    St. Luke’s plans to open a separate rehabilitation service line and will take over control of the physical therapy facilities as of Oct. 1. Some 80 percent of all 500-plus employees are expected to be rehired through St. Luke’s, the letter states. Affected employees will receive severance benefits, Honsinger indicated.
    Board approval for the transition locally is still pending, according to Jenny King, senior marketing and public relations coordinator for St. Luke’s Wood River, but should be made public next week. The local hospital and Elks branch already offer joint outpatient services, King said.
    “St. Luke’s will expand our services to include both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation,” King said.
    She said it’s likely the current physical therapy locations won’t change and a “significant number” of current Elks employees will be retained following the transition to support the physical therapy services of the valley.
    “Both organizations are working closely to make sure there’s a seamless transition for patients and Elks employees,” King said.
    Though they are discontinuing clinical practices, Elks Rehab will continue to exist as a charitable and philanthropic organization to support rehabilitation statewide, according to Bob Jaundalderis, director of marketing.  
Amy Busek:

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