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Lafayette clinic's layoffs affect 14

Riggs Community Health Center is cutting staff positions. The layoffs at the clinic affect 14 employees.

President and CEO Veronique LeBlanc says it has been a challenge operating two sites, since the new South Street facility opened last November. Riggs moved into the former Woman’s Clinic, which was donated by North Central Health Services.

She says they have not been able to add as many doctors and nurses as planned, so there has not been an increase the number of patients or revenue to fund the current number of staff positions.

Riggs Community Health Center has served uninsured and underinsured patients for 25 years. The health center logged more than 40,000 appointments last year, seeing nearly 12,000 people.

The statement from LeBlanc regarding the positions eliminated at the health center:

When Riggs Community Health Center celebrated the opening of our new South Street facility in November 2012, our Board of Directors and Center leadership realized this first year of operation would be a most challenging year fiscally. The challenge has been greater than expected with increased costs and lower- than-anticipated level of physician and nurse practitioner staffing. Without more providers, we cannot see the added patients needed to generate revenue to support current staffing. Because of this budget shortfall, the Riggs Community Health Center Board of Directors and leadership made the very difficult decision to implement a reduction in force. Our business challenges in this year of growth required the tough decision to eliminate jobs, which means losing colleagues and parting with friends today. We value our people and we thank those who left for all their contributions to Riggs Community Health Center, the patients they connected with, and the lives they improved. Riggs Community Health Center is a strong organization and community partner. This year, we will celebrate 25 years of service in our community. Our strength comes from making the right decisions for the long term sustainability of the Center. Our values have always been about treating our patients and our staff with dignity and respect, and working as a team through both the good and the challenging times. Today is another day to embrace those values. Sincerely, Veronique LeBlanc

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