LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will be laying off employees after a fiscal year financial loss.

The health center announced on July 10 that it had a $30 million loss for its most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30. In a short video, UAMS Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Amanda George said UAMS had a total of a $50 million operating loss, which was offset by investment revenue to $30 million.

“Expenses is where we’ve been challenged,” George said. “Escalating labor cost, escalating supply cost, inflation, Covid, all of that, has led to the financial situation.”

UAMS spokesperson Kaitlin Barger acknowledged inflation’s impact on hospital operations in a Thursday statement.

“UAMS is not immune to the effects of inflation, which has been hitting us for a while,” she said. “As the state’s only academic medical center, we take our obligation to the people of Arkansas very seriously, therefore we must continue to look at ways to remain efficient, which means reorganizing some areas without affecting essential programs and continuity of care and services.”

Barger also said the health center would not be filling some open positions and reassigning some jobs, leading to layoffs.  

“This process has resulted in the elimination of 51 occupied positions,” she said. “Every UAMS employee is a treasured asset, and this is not an action that we take lightly.”

UAMS Human Resources is working with affected employees in finding jobs, either alternate positions at UAMS or elsewhere, Barger said.

According to information on the website, it is the only health sciences university in the state of Arkansas and the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees in 73 of Arkansas’ 75 counties.