CMH furloughs 125 staff

File photoColumbia Memorial Health in Hudson temporarily furloughed 125 employees Tuesday.

HUDSON — Columbia Memorial Health temporarily furloughed approximately 125 staff members Tuesday.

A message from CMH President and CEO Jay Cahalan said while it was an action that no one wanted to take, it was the result of extremely limited options.

The temporary furloughs mean employees will still have health insurance coverage and can receive enhanced unemployment fund levels while not receiving their regular salaries.

Employees who were furloughed could be called back to work with 48 hours’ notice.

With an increase in COVID-19 preparation, there has been a decrease in physician office visits, elective procedures and diagnostic testing in recent weeks, which was predicted, Cahalan said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo authorized state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to order hospitals to cancel elective surgeries and procedures in his March 23 executive order. He had previously required hospitals to increase inpatient capacity by 50%.

“Most of that is understandable; what was less predictable is the dramatic decline in the number of [emergency department] visits, Rapid Care visits, total number of admissions to the hospital, and the sharp drop in the number of patients placed in an observation status,” Cahalan said.

Many would-be patients are concerned about visiting hospitals and having access to health care services with the stay-at-home order in effect.

These, in addition to the soaring costs of personal protective equipment, or PPE, created an “unprecedented financial crisis for hospitals and health care organizations,” Cahalan said.

These changes have cut revenue nearly in half, while at the same time increasing expenses, which is being seen in hospitals throughout the region.

Businesses and organizations are being assisted by the federal government’s CARES Act, which includes enhanced funding levels for furloughed employees. Hospitals are utilizing similar programs to preserve the workforce, and are working with the government to make them more accessible.

“We all know that health care is different from other services and businesses, now is the time that we need to strengthen our health care system, not lose time that we could be spending on preparation for the next surge,” Cahalan said. “We will continue to make that point and will likely enlist our staff and community in that effort as well.”

Cahalan said although he wished there were other options, the only way the hospital saw to access funding benefits for the workforce was to implement temporary furloughs.

New York state remains on PAUSE through May 15.

Abby Hoover is a reporter for the Register-Star. Contact her at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

(4) comments

Chris B

Fact 1. CMH is an affiliate of Albany Med

Fact 2. CMH is not in Greene County

Fact 3. According to the good old interwebs, Bronx County actually has the highest drug overdose mortality rate in the state. (Greene or Columbia don’t even come close)

Fact 4. Workers getting furloughed from CMH have absolutely NOTHING to do with your unhealthy obsession with the Greene County Jail, county executives, town executives, and whoever else you choose to slander, defame, or otherwise drag into your insanity.

To Scotty Myers:

Your comments are that of a person with severe narcissistic personality disorder. (Google it if

you don't know what the big words mean.) They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and they

magnify achievements and talents. I have read your profiles.

This has been posted previously and still applies. Enjoy!

People are dying from this terrible virus. Our neighbors. Our friends. Our families. Our medical

staff and our First Responders who are trying keep us all alive. Anyone who uses this event as a tool to

promote their own political agenda is a disgraceful, deplorable and pathetic individual. Shame on you

Scotter Meyers! Even if one agrees or disagrees with the Greene County Jail issue we can all agree that

actions like the are contemptuous.

Now Scotter Myers, in his cowardly way, has blocked me and dozens of others from his

Facebook page for speaking out against him so we can no longer see his post ( and he can't see ours). I

guess he will continue to do so until he literally will have NO one watching him. How intelligent is that?

So all we have left is to picture poor Scotter, sitting and shivering in his low rent motel unit tapping away

at his cheap little laptop with nobody to hear him. How ironic.

But alas, there is hope. With any luck he will be convicted of his numerous criminal violations

and he can become a charter member of the new Greene County Jail and live in his new $9 million

luxury. Your importance and relevance is hosted in your mind only and no one is listening to you.

“Beam me up Scotty”

Feel free to repost or share so Scooter can appreciate his opposition.


Bizarre. The lack of adequate health care, and the mind numbing new debt obligation of $90 million for a jail is the best proof of very very bad local government.

We pay to put people in human cages knowing the federal and state justice reforms (Trump and Cuomo) put an end to this. Greene County just doesn’t get it. Do the math. It’s easy. $90 million for 80 cages is $1.25 million per cage, borrowed money! Since we have just 15 detainees at a time that’s $6 million per detainee. Do you know what kind of health care you can build for that? Yes you do. As a medical/health care facility the new jail (not under control of SCOC) can receive federal and state funds for program, a county jail can’t.

Please people, wake up. The logo on the Village of Catskill vehicles has the asleep Rip van Winkle. Wake up, please. I’m not making any of this stuff up. It will end naturally because there’s no growth here, and because these policies are insane. Central Hudson’s OutOfAlignment shows a decline in per-capita and population. Again, these aren’t my numbers, they’re the known real assessments.

We can do better, and must. Repair 80 Bridge Street and put the sheriff back there, which btw is the law (County Law § 216). Convert the needless boondoggle monster being built in Coxsackie (even during the pandemic!) to a medical treatment facility. We have the highest Opioid problem in the state, and show no indication of improvement. Please!

Scooter the criminal is back spreading his useless propaganda.

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