Seton Healthcare Family confirms Austin job cuts

Seton Healthcare Family confirmed Thursday it has cut employee positions throughout its Central Texas hospital network in recent days.

A spokeswoman for the system, which employs more than 12,000 in Central Texas, said it had eliminated less than 200 positions this past week, but wouldn’t give more specifics on the number of employee cuts.

Seton, one of the region’s largest employers, is a private entity and doesn’t have to make such layoff announcements public.

The cuts amount to “a very small percentage of the workforce,” said Adrienne Lallo, a spokeswoman for the Seton Healthcare Family. “We are in the midst of significant changes in our industry and are constantly adjusting — and investing in — our workforce and systems to continue to meet the healthcare needs and expectations of Central Texans.”

Lallo said the system is working with employees affected by the cuts.

“Staff changes ensure that we are properly aligned to deliver spiritually centered care that improves the health of individuals and communities, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable,” Lallo said. “In keeping with our mission, we are providing affected employees with transition support.”

The Seton system has seen rounds of smaller cuts in recent years as part of a long-term restructuring plan.

In 2013, the system said it cut 74 positions and revamped or cut schedules for 45 others, which amounted to less than one percent of Seton’s workforce at the time. That same year, Seton told workers it planned to shift $350 million in resources, cutting services and expanding others, by 2017 and that more cuts could follow.

Seton is part of St. Louis-based Ascension, the largest U.S. nonprofit health care system and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Seton, which was was founded in 1902 by the Daughters of Charity, operates more than 100 medical sites, including four hospitals such as Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Level I trauma center University Medical Center Brackenridge and Seton Medical Center.

Next year, University Medical Center Brackenridge is scheduled to close to make room for the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, the anchor to a new downtown health district that includes the medical school and research facilities.

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