- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pocono Medical Center plans to lay off 61 registered nurses while it waits for regulators to approve the buyout of its parent company, Pocono Health System, by Lehigh Valley Health Network.

JNESO, the nurses’ union, tells The Pocono Record (http://bit.ly/2hxicBS ) it’s been discussing staffing levels for quite some time. Douglas Placa, the union’s district council executive director, says the cuts would be “catastrophic.”

Hospital spokesman Geoffrey Roche says the cuts account for about 2 percent of the hospital’s workforce, and that efforts will be made to maintain the same level of patient care.

The hospital cut 55 jobs in May, including 33 by attrition.

The proposed merger with Lehigh Valley was announced in May 2015. Officials from both groups said then they didn’t anticipate any staffing cuts.

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