Salem Hospital might close pediatrics unit

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A Salem Hospital spokeswoman says the hospital might close its inpatient pediatrics unit due to a lack of patients.

Spokeswoman Sherryll Hoar told the Statesman Journal newspaper (http://is.gd/jtG3VA ) that the hospital has notified its workers and local pediatric units of the possible closure.

The inpatient pediatrics unit has the capacity to care for 27 patients, but the average daily census was six patients in 2010 and five last year.

The news comes less than a week after CEO Norm Gruber wrote to employees saying the hospital could eliminate as many as 150 full-time equivalent positions. He cited low patient volume and some programs operating at a loss.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com