MD Anderson to cut 800-900 jobs from cancer center

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- MD Anderson, one of Houston's largest employers, said it will cut less than five percent of its workforce beginning immediately.

The cancer center announced the cuts internally this morning via email to its about 20,000 employees.

President Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., said in a Thursday morning press conference that the cuts were necessary, even though the long-term financial health of the institution remains strong.

"We must now act in our ability to continue investing in our mission to end cancer," DePinho said.

DePinho said the shared governance committee's recommended cuts of about 800 to 900 employees will not affect their live-saving work.

"When it comes to our patients, they remain our number one priority," DePinho said.

"I can assure you that the health and safety of our patients will not be impacted by these changes, and we will continue the world's best cancer care to those counting on us to save their lives."

The layoffs, DePinho said, will begin immediately, and physicians would not be affected by the reductions.

"Great efforts and compassion have gone into exploring all options to make sustainable changes, and to avoid impacting our treasured colleagues," DePinho said.

An internal email was sent out to employees earlier today from MD Anderson President Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., which read:

Dear M.D. Anderson community, four months, we've been working to improve our financial performance. Despite great effort from everyone, we must take additional measures to protect our mission to end cancer. Today I excepted the recommendation from the Shared Governance Committee, and I wanted you to hear this news directly from me.

The email linked off to a video message, with details from DePinho.

DePinho said he and two other officers will address the media with additional details.

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