The health system continues to hire during the COVID-19 pandemic and benefit from new revenue sources

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Employees of UR Medicine Thompson Health are not being furloughed despite a $315 million budget gap affecting employees at Strong Memorial Hospital and five other University of Rochester Medical Center divisions.

“Being a lean organization, we were able to pivot quickly as COVID began affecting our region,” said Thompson Health President/CEO Michael F. Stapleton Jr.

Thompson temporarily reassigned a number of associates, through its labor pool, to high-demand areas across the health system. “And now, robust plans are in place to return staff to their usual roles, increase our service volumes, and improve finances to pre-COVID levels,” Stapleton said Tuesday.

Thompson Health is an affiliate of URMC, which revealed last week that 3,474 employees have been furloughed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The furloughs affect Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the School of Nursing, the Eastman Institute for Oral Health and the Health Sciences Division. The furloughed employees are in administration, finance, clinical providers, clinical support workers, nursing, research and education support.

At Thompson Health based in Canandaigua, Stapleton named a number of areas where Thompson is saving money to avoid furloughs. Those include freezing business travel; eliminating overtime as much as possible; attrition (savings from employees leaving their job due to normal life circumstances); and holding the line on salary increases.

While pursuing federal and state grants and loans, Thompson is also benefiting from new revenue sources, the CEO said. Those include the new Urgent Care Center in Canandaigua and the Canandaigua Medical Group Pharmacy, which is open to all Thompson Health and UR Medicine patients and is growing its customer base. Other revenue sources include the new ICU, which Stapleton noted is being fully used, as well as the new Marilyn Sands Outpatient Clinic — serving pulmonary, gastro-intestinal, neurology and pain management patients — and new telehealth options for patients.

Thompson is also hiring to fill open clinical positions. Jennifer DeVault, vice president of Associate Services and Wellness, said 25 new hires are going through the orientation process just this week.

“We have continued hiring throughout the pandemic,” said DeVault. “We are very fortunate that we have jobs available and excellent candidates who want to work here.”

DeVault mentioned that Thompson is taking careful measures to keep employees safe during the pandemic, along with ensuring “they receive recognition for their hard work during this challenging time.”

Thompson is a healthcare provider for more than 165,000 people in the Finger Lakes region, according to its website. The health system provides a range of healthcare services in Ontario, Monroe, Livingston and Wayne counties. Thompson has 450 practitioners, over 1,600 associates and 200 community volunteers.

“With our entire team aligned behind the idea of continuing to take excellent care of the community — and of ourselves — we are confident Thompson will continue to attract exceptional healthcare professionals and continue moving forward, despite the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID,” added Stapleton.

Thompson Health in 2012 formally became an affiliate of URMC, giving patients more choices to access different levels of care at a variety of sites in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.

Includes reporting by Messenger Post news partner News 10NBC.