St. Francis Regional Medical Center exterior

The Emergency Department of the St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee.The Emergency Department of the St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee.

Allina Health, which partners with other organizations to operate St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, has announced staffing changes due to the coronavirus pandemic, including furloughs for some employees and retraining of others.

In a news release the nonprofit health care system said as of April 13, employees in non-patient care and indirect patient care roles would be required to take at least one mandatory furlough in one-week increments within a 30-day window. Employees will be eligible to use paid time off or vacation time to cover the temporary time off. For the three weeks leading up to April 13, Allina Health guaranteed full pay for staff who experienced low needs, according to the health care system.

“Not unlike other health care systems in Minnesota and across the nation, these changes have created significant financial pressures for Allina Health,” the release said.

Employees in direct patient care roles were asked to participate in a phased approach to training and redeployment to help with surge needs, Allina Health said.

In an effort to protect staff and patients and conserve personal protective equipment, Allina Health delayed non-urgent procedures and moved many in-person patient visits to virtual visits.

“Even as health care is not immune from the economic disruptions being felt across all sectors, any decision involving employees is very difficult,” the release said. “We understand the impact these changes will have on Allina Health employees throughout the system and we are committed to helping support them during these unprecedented times.”

Shakopee fashion designer making masks for St. Francis

A Caring for Caregivers fund is available to Allina Health employees experiencing financial challenges. The public may donate to help cover mortgage or rent expenses, car payments, child care and utility expenses and other financial hardships that may arise.

“From mask donations to food, to giving blood, to gifts of cash, to staying home, the support we have seen from our communities is truly inspiring,” the news release from Allina Health said.