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Phoebe restructuring hospital staff

ALBANY -- Some positions are being eliminated at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital as part of a restructuring effort officials say will allow the facility to function more efficiently.

"We have eliminated some positions. It's to better meet the needs of patients," said Valerie Benton, spokeswoman for the hospital. "From time to time, jobs are restructured."

At present, Phoebe is transitioning about a dozen employees who have been impacted into other areas within the hospital. The process is expected to take 30 days.

"We are working to place some employees in other areas," Benton said. "It's not a big deal."

Several employees have already been placed into other areas, Benton said. Some nursing positions, as well as positions in the hospital's radiology and pharmacy departments have been impacted by the restructuring.

While a number of things influenced the restructuring, Benton said the hospital is not in trouble financially.

"(The hospital) is impacted by internal and external factors," she said. "We are just trying to achieve maximum efficiency for patients."

There are roughly 3,800 employees on staff at Phoebe. The Phoebe Putney Health System has been experiencing growth in recent months, such as through the opening of Medical Tower II on the main campus a year ago, and the groundbreaking of the new Phoebe Sumter Medical Center complex in Americus in November 2009.

Benton said there has been no reduction in hours for the hospital's employees.