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Renown facing $110 million in losses

By Bob Conrad

Renown Health today confirmed it is facing $110 million in losses. It is blaming “labor shortages, high prices for supplies and cost increases to treat sicker patients” for the shortfalls.

The admission comes just months after Renown officials and board members said everything was looking positive for the hospital in the wake of firing former CEO Tony Slonim.

Those statements continue to be disputed by employees.

Renown’s interim CEO Thomas Graf did not respond to a request for comment, and the hospital would only provide a statement from an anonymous spokesperson. 

Inside sources said, however, the millions in losses are reverberations from Slonim’s tenure. 

They said a botched real-estate deal with a property on Oddie Boulevard, exorbitant executive salaries, “costly trips across the country,” dozens of severance packages for fired high-level employees, the purchase of numerous billboard advertisements around the community, and Slonim’s half-million dollar bonus during the pandemic were also to blame.

County assessor records show Renown purchased the Oddie Boulevard property in 2016 for $6.5 million and sold it five years later for $8 million. Renown reportedly invested nearly $20 million into the property during the time of ownership. Renown’s anonymous PR people would not confirm this amount by the time of publication.

The Oddie property is now owned by Foothill Partners and is a focal point in rebranding the area as the “Oddie District.” Tenants include the Generator arts space.

“Redevelopment of The Oddie District brings Sparks to the forefront as an arts and business hub in the Western United States,” Ed Lawson, Sparks’ mayor, said in a news release last year. “We cannot wait to see the potential of this space fully realized.”

Graf, in an internal email to employees, said hospital leadership and staff will face cuts to cover the massive losses.

“The latest national snapshot of financial circumstances by Kaufman Hall and our own accounting statements reinforce something we know all too well; a difficult situation is growing worse for healthcare organizations across the country,” he wrote. “Federal COVID relief, though appreciated, did not even cover half of hospital losses and with no state relief in sight, many health systems are facing painful choices about where they must make cuts to continue to remain viable.”

Salaried hospital leaders will not get merit increases and performance bonuses for the fiscal year. A retirement match of 4% is suspended “for those employees who participate in the program beginning September 2022, and vice presidents and above will have to take a 10% pay cut.”

Graf assured employees “construction on the master facilities project [will continue] to ensure we have adequate bed and procedure capacity, spaces to accommodate new technology and services to meet the needs of a growing patient base and community.”

After Slonim’s firing in March, Renown’s board chair Adam Kramer said during a press conference that he was pleased with the hospital.

“I’m really proud at where the system as a whole is heading,” he said. “Renown Health is in a phenomenal position.”

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