Hutcheson Medical Center administrators laid off 58 employees in September.

Farrell Hayes, the Fort Oglethorpe hospital's CEO, announced the job cuts during Hutcheson board's monthly meeting Wednesday night. Hayes said the hospital also stopped performing emergency surgeries last week, meaning EMS drivers will ship those patients to other nearby hospitals.

"We're trying to make the hospital's cash flow better and more profitable," he said.

Hutcheson filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November, its leaders hoping they could find a group of investors to take over the hospital and allow 700 people to keep their jobs. At the time, the hospital was about $80 million in debt, with only $30 million in assets.

Through August, court filings show, the hospital gathered another $6 million of debt. Administrators stopped paying employee health care claims, as well as the IRS.

During a bankruptcy court hearing on Sept. 2, Hayes testified he believed the hospital would receive an offer from an outside company within about a week. He said he believed the offer would be worth about $20 million.

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Hutcheson Hospital is seen in this, Aug. 18, 2015, file photo.

On Wednesday, Hayes said administrators laid off employees in two waves: first at the beginning of the month, then on Sept. 23. He declined to provide details about the layoffs during the open meeting, saying he would prefer to tell board members that information during an executive session that followed.

But multiple sources close to the hospital told the Times Free Press that many of those laid off were Hutcheson's middle managers. That included the director of the ICU, the director of outpatient services, the director of engineering, the director of health information management, the head of Parkside Nursing Home's environmental services and Parkside's dietary manager.

Sources said those laid off did not receive any severance or money for accrued vacation. Asked about that, Hayes responded, "All employees were paid through their last day of work."

Said one source: "Some of these employees were long-serving employees who's been there for 10 or more years."

The source added that this has left some directors spread thin, having to make up for the lost employees.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at or 423-757-6476.