The creator of a new Facebook page set up to "save UMC of Lafayette jobs" has a story that's not unlike the countless other patients who receive treatment every year at various UMC clinics, several of which are in danger of shuttering due to mid-year budget cuts from the state.
The mother of a 5-year-old boy, the new Facebook page's administrator tells the social networking world that her son is receiving treatments at UMC for "severe speech and sensory issues ... and he's making progress."
"But if treatment is halted now, it will totally jeopardize his future!! It is imperative to keep these units open and going!!!" proclaims the unidentified mother, whose "Save UMC of Lafayette Jobs" page is up to 55 fans as of Thursday morning.
News of impending layoffs reached the more than 900 UMC employees last week, when the LSU Health System announced that it will be forced slash $29 million from its budget.
The cuts will impact seven charity hospitals statewide and could mean the loss of 80-100 employees at UMC as well as the hospital's obstetricians, neonatal ICU unit, ophthalmology department and ENT services.
UMC's Pediatric Clinic was also on the chopping block, but hospital administrator Larry Dorsey says he is hopeful that the 6,000 children seen every year through pediatrics can be shifted to the family medicine department to avoid completely cutting critical services to children.
Other departments, like the ENT clinic, could be completely eliminated, raising profound concerns from the unit's resident medical students and nurses who say that the high number of late-stage cancer and tumor patients seen at the clinic "will literally die because they have no where else to go."
The Facebook page encourages its fans to contact area lawmakers and take other steps to save UMC's clinics.
Click here for a brief overview on the potential cuts at UMC.
For more in-depth coverage on what the UMC cuts will mean for Acadiana, check out The Ind's Feb. 1 edition.