Bluegrass Oakwood, a facility for the developmentally disabled that is one of Somerset’s largest employers, has cut 200 positions as the organization works to align its staffing with the number of residents it is now serving.
Ironically, the cuts come as a result of the organization’s success. Jill Midkiff, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which oversees Oakwood, told The (Somerset) Commonwealth Journal that one of the facility’s goals was to help Oakwood residents move out into the community when they were ready. When Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation took over the daily management of Oakwood in 2006, there were around 240 residents. Now, the number of residents is nearly half that.
With a drop in the number of residents, the state reduced its financial support of the facility from $69.9 million to $54.4 million.
“As a result of this census decrease, and in order to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, staff reductions appear to be necessary,” Midkiff said.
The cuts affect all levels of staffing, including doctors, nurses, case managers, home managers, and floor managers, among others.
Prior to the layoff announced in late June, Oakwood had approximately 1,000 employees.