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Oakwood Home Lays Off 168 Employees

By Associated Press

Somerset, KY – An official says a southeastern Kentucky facility for mentally disabled adults has laid off 168 employees, reflecting a drop by nearly half of the number of people staying there.

Shannon Ware, CEO of Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation, which took over Oakwood in 2006, said a total of nearly 200 positions were phased out but that only 168 were filled positions.

The layoffs last week included doctors, RNs, LPNs, case managers, home managers, classroom and floor staff, and others, according to the Commonwealth Journal in Somerset.

The number of people living at Oakwood has fallen from 240 when Bluegrass Regional assumed day-to-day management to 124 currently.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokeswoman Jill Midkiff said as part of the facility's long-term plan, Oakwood has been helping people who want to live in a community setting, resulting in the decline in the number of residents. That led to fewer staff members being needed, she said.