Cuts are part of nearly 600 by SSM nationwide.

SSM Health Care a St. Louis-based Catholic-sponsored health care system headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., and the parent company of St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, has announced it is cutting 586 jobs in four states.

Carla Tollett, Marketing Director at St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, confirmed seven of those positions were in Shawnee.

She provided this statement Friday regarding the announcement by SSM Health Care.

SSM Health Care is committed to providing exceptional, high-quality health care to the communities we serve. At present we, and other health care organizations, are facing unprecedented changes and challenges. These include, but are not limited to, a shift of patients from the inpatient setting to the outpatient setting, reduced reimbursements from federal payors, increased bad debt and charity care as well as the financial impacts that have come as a result of sequestration.

Given this dramatic shift in the health care environment, we’ve taken an even harder look at best practices, efficiencies and standardization around our system. We found opportunities for us to improve the services we provide to our patients by standardizing and consolidating some of our administrative functional areas across the system and organizing departments in a more efficient way.

Unfortunately these consolidations along with other necessary reductions have resulted in the loss of less than two percent of positions out of more than 30,000 in the system. Most of these are administrative positions and not directly involved with patient care. Of the 586 positions across the system, 46 were in Oklahoma.

While difficult, this new structure will allow SSM to be better prepared for upcoming changes associated with health care reform while continuing our focus on making the patient experience the best it can possibly be.

The affected individuals are being supported through this transition with a 60 paid notice period and generous severance package. In addition, we’re looking to see if there are other positions throughout the system in which the individuals would be a natural fit, her statement concluded.

According to The Associated Press, the cuts included 206 in the St. Louis region.

The SSM system includes 18 hospitals, two nursing homes, more than 150 outpatient sites and other units.