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Missouri Rehabilitation Center to close, 323 jobs lost

Posted: Aug 11, 2014 1:25 PM by Zack Newman, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
Updated: Aug 11, 2014 1:40 PM

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Health Care system announced Monday that the Missouri Rehabilitation Center (MRC) in Mt. Vernon will close on October 31. It will cost 323 their jobs.

That includes 156 clinical staff, 130 support staff, six physicians and 31 administrators/managers.

"For MRC employees, we will be providing transition pay and benefits as well as transition assistance, including priority consideration for other jobs within MU Health Care," said Mitch Wasden, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of MU Health Care.

The MRC currently has 24 patients, with the capacity for 130.

"Our first priority today, and in the next three months," he said, "will be ensuring continuity of care for our patients and supporting the employees of Missouri Rehabilitation Center," Wasden said.

The health care system will "work closely with other long-term acute-care centers and rehabilitation centers around the state to ensure all MRC patients receive the care they need," he said.

MU Health Care's decision to close the aging facility was based on of a variety of factors, according to Wasden, incuding lack of patients, access to newer facilities in Missouri and the uncertainty of state funding.

During the past five years, Wasden said the MRC has received $10 million annually, but this year it is possible that funds could be withheld completely. $10.4 million was appropriated by the General Assembly this year, but Governor Jay Nixon vetoed $5.2 million of it.

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