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Altru eliminates 167 jobs due to COVID-19 pandemic

Associated Press

Grand Forks-based Altru Health System said Monday it has eliminated 167 jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Officials said most of the reductions are in support and administrative departments. The cuts represent about 6.5% of Altru's workforce. 

In a statement, Altru President Dr. Steven Weiser said he hoped Altru would never have to make the move, but "it is necessary." 

"Today's announcement is part of a crucial re-design of our organization," Weiser said. "We must continue to make changes in the best interest of those we serve. As we adapt, we will not lose sight of our patients and our responsibility to the community and region. Patients always come first and providing safe, high-quality care remains our priority."

KNOX-AM reports  before Monday's announcement, Altru had made several moves to offset financial losses this year, including reducing executive, leadership and physician pay, workforce adjustments to patient volume and deciding to pause construction of a new Altru hospital. 

Hospitals and health care systems have seen a steep drop in business as COVID-19 has postponed routine visits and elective surgeries.