This content provided free of charge by The Newton Kansan. For more local journalism, subscribe to

Newton Medical Center notified employees this week at its hospital and clinic locations in Newton, Hesston, Park City, Valley Center and Wichita of staffing adjustments in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

Walk-in clinic hours are being reduced, effective this weekend.

"The combination of lost revenue, increased expenses, and other economic factors tied to COVID-19 have significantly impacted our business and financial stability. As a result, NMC is implementing a variety of temporary cost-saving measures, including adjustments in personnel," said president and chief executive officer Val Gleason.

According to a statement issued Friday, compliance with recommendations from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to staff, patients and the community, NMC reduced many of its regular service offerings resulting in significant revenue losses for the organization.

Some of the reduced service offerings include preventative health screenings, elective surgeries and many outpatient services. At the same time, the organization incurred additional expenses to prepare for treating potential COVID-19 patients.

The temporary measures include: executive and managerial staff pay decreases, employee furloughs and reduced work schedules, employee wage adjustments, reductions in employee benefits, reduced clinic hours and a temporary closure of the Sunflower Café.

All NMC locations will continue to be staffed for providing needed health care services to the community. The Sunflower Café located within the hospital at 600 Medical Center Drive in Newton was closed to the public starting at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

"We make these decisions with a heavy heart," Gleason said. "Our focus is to improve health by ensuring our ability to continue effectively and safely caring for patients in the community. These necessary cost reductions and personnel adjustments will help make this possible."

NMC clinic hours of operation will be temporarily reduced as follows, effective Sunday, April 5, 2020:

Convenient Care, 118 E. 12th Street, Newton:

• Sunday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Walk in Health Clinic, 17455 E. 61st Street N, Park City:

• Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Medical Plaza of Valley Center, 641 N Seneca, Valley Center:

• Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Friday, 9 a.m. to noon

• Phones will be answered Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.