Hospital temporarily reduces employee pay following COVID-19 preparations

Wage reduction begins April 11, will continue for 60 days



Rueben Mayes, Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation chief development officer, said the Foundation has raised $330,000 for the COVID-19 fund.

JARED BRADLEY, Evergreen reporter

Pullman Regional Hospital is preparing for COVID-19 by purchasing more equipment and lowering employee wages by 25 percent.

According to a press release from PRH, the reduction will begin April 11 and will continue for 60 days. Pay was reduced because of the hospital’s commitment to a no layoff policy.

The hospital reduced employee pay in an effort to make $1 million in cash on hand for use, according to the press release. Cash on hand is the amount of money a hospital needs to continue daily operations. 

Other small community critical access hospitals in Washington state have less than 30 days cash on hand, according to the press release. Having less than 30 days on hand puts hospitals below the benchmark for financial stability. This means those small hospitals are in danger of closing.

PRH currently has 64 days cash on hand, according to the press release. Reductions in pay and other measures recently put into place are working towards a goal of not falling below this 30-day benchmark, according to the press release. 

Some of the other measures put into place include, but are not limited to, capping overtime, limiting paid time off and removing cash reimbursement for paid leave time that is unused, according to the press release.

PRH’s Zoom meeting scheduled on April 1 was changed due to “Zoom misuse by person or persons unknown,” according to a statement on the City of Pullman’s Facebook released shortly before the meeting.

The Zoom meeting was switched to over the phone. The public could listen over the phone by calling a provided number, according to the statement on Facebook. 

PRH and PRH Foundation have started a COVID-19 fund, which has already raised more than $330,000. The Foundation Board is also asking for donations to reach an additional $500,000 in unrestricted cash, according to the press release. 

Rueben Mayes, PRH Foundation chief development officer, said the foundation’s raised funds are transferred directly to the hospital where they are being used for operations, equipment and supplies.

The foundation employees are rotating who is in the office to maintain proper social distancing, Mayes said.

Megan Guido, chief marketing and community relations officer, said PRH is prepared for a potential influx of new patients due to COVID-19. None of the patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized, she said.

Those looking to donate online can go to or can contact the foundation at (509) 332-2046.