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Akron-based Summa Health to reduce hospital beds by 20% due to staffing shortage

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 3:38 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - If you go to any of the Summa Health hospitals in Akron, don’t expect to get a hospital bed right away.

“What we’ll be doing over the next several weeks is to reduce the footprint of acute care beds at our campus to match that of our staffing capabilities,” said David Custodio, president of Summa Akron City Hospital and St. Thomas.

Summa is cutting the number of hospital beds by 20%.

“We continued over the last 18 months to open areas and continue to take patients and keep overflow areas open, but what we realized is that is not a sustainable strategy,” said Custodio.

Summa is also temporarily stopping some elective surgeries until they can get more staff in the hospitals.

“So we’re going to break down our operating and work only to take care of urgent, emergency, and cancer cases. We don’t want to delay those, right?” said Custodio.

Custodio says the looming surge of hospitalizations from COVID is also a concern. He is urging people to get vaccinated so they won’t need a hospital bed.

“We’re seeing the numbers climb. We’ve got to continue to do the things we know will reduce the folks need to come to the hospital and keep them safe and healthy,” he said.

Custodio added there’s a ton of open positions at Summa.

He’s encouraging people to apply so the hospital system can get back to operating at 100%.

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