Holyoke care center announces layoffs amid ownership change

  • Mount Saint Vincent Care Center on Holy Family Road in Holyoke, as seen on April 8. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/23/2020 2:07:40 PM

HOLYOKE — Mount Saint Vincent Care Center, the facility that Farren Care Center residents have a choice of moving to at the end of the year, has announced it will be laying off its entire staff of 106 employees in November amid a change in ownership.

The long-term care facility said it expects to rehire most of those workers when the transition is complete.

The company made the layoff announcement in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice that companies with more than 100 full-time workers are required to file when they lay off at least half of their workforce at a single site. The layoffs are to take effect Nov. 17, according to the WARN Act filing.

The company iCare Health Network is set to take over the facility from the health care giant Trinity Health. Trinity Health also currently owns the Farren Care Center in Turners Falls, which iCare operates. Trinity plans to close the Farren by the end of the year, with residents of that facility offered the option of moving to Mount Saint Vincent.

Both facilities care for people with long-term medical conditions and behavioral disorders. The Farren has 154 employees.

iCare Vice President of Business Development David Skoczulek said Monday that iCare intends to rehire a large number of Mount Saint Vincent’s employees. He said the company would also likely hire an unspecified number of Farren employees willing to commute to Holyoke.

Skoczulek said the census will grow at Mount Saint Vincent, which has 75 patients at present, as the 105 patients at the Farren decide whether to move to Mount Saint Vincent. That increase in patients at Mount Saint Vincent will likely require more staff, he noted.

iCare is currently putting together pay-and-benefit offers for future Mount Saint Vincent employees, who would have to reapply for their jobs, Skoczulek said.

“It’s complex, and we’re trying to make sure we’re fair and transparent, and communicate well with employees as well as residents and families at both centers,” he said.

The state Department of Public Health held a hearing last week over closing the Farren. Some community members have expressed concern over the closure of the facility, which is known for the quality of the individualized attention it gives to patients with long-term medical conditions and behavioral disorders.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.

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