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Marshfield Clinic system to furlough some 360 workers

Announcement comes less than 2 weeks after a planned merger with Minnesota-based health system fell through

By Rob Mentzer
Marshfield Medical Center
The Marshfield Medical Center is photographed on July 26, 2023, in Marshfield, Wis. Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch

Hundreds of employees of a central Wisconsin-based health system will face furloughs after a planned corporate merger fell through.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Marshfield Clinic Health System confirmed reports that it would furlough about 3 percent of its roughly 12,000-person workforce, or about 360 employees. The system has a large main campus in Marshfield and has dozens of other locations across central and Northwoods Wisconsin, as well as in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

The announcement comes less than two weeks after the company announced that a planned merger with Duluth-based Essentia Health would not move forward.

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In its statement Tuesday, Marshfield Clinic said the furloughs were aimed at “(making) sure resources are used where they are needed most and where they can have the greatest impact on patients.” The company said affected employees were “largely” in “non-patient-seeing departments, including leadership roles.”

The spokesperson declined an interview request and did not provide additional information on affected employees or departments. He did not respond to a specific question about the length of the furloughs.

According to company records published online by ProPublica, in 2022 Marshfield Clinic had $321 million in revenue and expenses of $311 million. The system also reported more than $2 billion in liabilities.  

The Marshfield Clinic Health System covers more than 45,000 square miles, serving predominantly rural areas.