Loris community reacts to hospital job cuts

LORIS, SC (WMBF) - It's not hard to find a person in Loris who knows someone who works at McLeod Loris Hospital. As news of job cuts at the hospital system settles in, now many of those people know someone who'll be without a job.

Officials announced the job cuts Wednesday. They will affect nearly 50 workers from across the McLeod network in Horry County. Hospital representatives say the positions come from McLeod Loris, McLeod Seacoast in Little River and the group's Loris nursing home.

Celeste Bondurant-Bell, marketing director for McLeod Loris Seacoast, says employees whose positions are being eliminated were notified early in the week. Bondurant-Bell says the workers will continue to be paid during a transitional period and will have help finding other positions.

People who live in Loris call the job cuts another major blow for an already stressed job atmosphere in the city.

"People in Loris are restricted to maybe having to work at a local place and when the jobs are taken away from those local places it really puts larger restrictions on them," said Valerie Mendoza, who lives in Loris.

Many residents say there are hardly places to work inside city limits now, so news of the layoffs only makes things worse.

"It makes it hard for their families. They can't take care of their bills," said Mary Cooper, of Tabor City, N.C.

According to Bondurant-Bell workers from all departments were subject to the layoffs.

The hospital system blames the job cuts on reduced revenue from lower Medicare and Medicaid paybacks and an uptick in patients who can't afford to pay for services. Officials say less federal funding also plays a role.

Hospital officials say when the economy improves they hope to add more positions.

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