DETROIT, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Henry Ford Health Systems announced Wednesday “due to the devastating impact from the COVID-19 pandemic” it is temporarily laying off 2,800 employees.

The layoffs are taking place this week and were announced Wednesday to employees.

Approximately 2,800 employees are being temporarily furloughed across the six-hospital system – those not directly involved in patient care, from areas where workloads have been drastically reduced or where operations have been temporarily closed. Employees will keep their healthcare coverage and are eligible for unemployment benefits.

Henry Ford’s President and CEO, Wright Lassiter, III, stated in a companywide email, “I know that news concerning furloughs is painful – especially for an organization like ours, whose greatest strength has always been our people. We value each team member’s unique contribution and this decision does not change that. But, we must face these realities head on.”

Additionally, the health system’s executive team and senior leaders will also begin contributing between 10% – 25% of their salaries to two funds created to help employees: the COVID-19 Emergency Needs Fund, established during the current crisis, and the Bob and Sandy Riney Helping Hands Fund, established in 2012 by Henry Ford’s President of Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer Bob Riney and his wife Sandy to support employees experiencing unexpected hardship.

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