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      Mackinac Straits Health System to lay off 15 employees

      The Mackinac Straits Health System has announced it will lay off 15 employees effective April 1.

      According to a hospital spokesperson, 15 jobs will be eliminated and eight others will see reduced hours. Four positions will also not be replaced after the people holding those positions retire.

      Top management salaries were also cut by 5 percent.

      The hospital also says all employee fringe benefit plans will be restructured and contractual services will be reduced.

      "This plan will restructure the health system to align Mackinac Straits with industry standards," said Rodney Nelson, President and CEO of Mackinac Straits Health Systems.

      "Health care today has been affected by economic downturns and we have been negatively impacted by state and federal mandates much like most health care organizations," Nelson went on to say.

      Administrators say patient services and direct care will remain the same.

      The changes will be effective Tuesday, April 1.

      Mackinac Straits is the third local health care system to announce employee lay offs within the past four weeks.