Baptist Health of LR lays off 170 workers

LITTLE ROCK – Baptist Health of Little Rock announced July 16 that 170 workers in its system are losing their jobs.

The layoffs are immediate and were to be completed by week’s end, Arkansas Business reported. The cuts will "not impact the quality of clinical patient care, … and they are consistent with actions other hospitals have taken," Mark Lowman, a Baptist Health spokesman, said in a statement to Arkansas Business. 

Baptist Health has hospitals in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Arkadelphia and about 7,300 workers, according to Arkansas Business. Layoffs target employees who aren't nurses. 

"We are undertaking a number of initiatives that will position our organization to address the challenges of health reform and severe federal budget cuts," Lowman said in the statement to Arkansas Business. "Baptist Health has worked to reduce non salary expenses, gain efficiencies in all aspects of operations through consolidation of services and simplification of processes." 

Lowman also cited "a difficult and challenging environment of substantially less government reimbursement, burdensome government regulations, rapidly rising costs of supplies, increasing charity care and bad debt, and the need for technology and medical innovations" as a reason for the layoffs.

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock reported total patient revenue of $1.49 billion in 2011 and a net income of nearly $15 million, Arkansas Business reported. 


ABN plans student ministry ad section  

For the second consecutive year, the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) is offering a special advertising directory focused on student ministry resources. The directory will be published in the Aug. 22 edition.

The directory is open to those offering student-related ministries and resources. Ads will be organized according to the type of ministry offered, such as youth and children’s speakers, musicians and bands, drama and improve, creative ministries and children’s programs.

“The student ministry advertising directory presents a unique opportunity for both advertisers and student ministers,” said Tim Yarbrough, ABN editor. “Advertisers benefit by having their ministries placed in a categorized section, which will be viewed by 20,000-plus Arkansas Baptists statewide. Meanwhile, student ministers can use the section to find the resources they need at a glance.”

He explained the issue of the ABN containing these ads will be distributed beyond the usual realm of subscribers. Arkansas Baptist youth ministers – subscribers or not – will receive a free electronic version of the newspaper so they can use the directory as a resource.

Yarbrough said it is particularly appropriate for the advertising directory to be published in the Aug. 22 edition due to the fact that it is the edition that will feature a youth evangelism section, which will include coverage of the 2013 Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC), an annual conference attended by hundreds of youth.

“It is going to be a powerful issue seen by thousands of Arkansas Baptists. It would be a great way to share with others the resources you provide for youth ministry,” said Yarbrough. 

Though larger ads are welcome, two general sizes of ads are available at a discounted rate – 4.75 inches wide by 2 inches tall; and 2.25 inches wide by 2 inches tall.

Each ad will include the advertiser’s/ministry’s name, contact and website information, a photo and a brief description of the ministry.

Advertising deadline is July 29.

For more information or to advertise, contact Jessica Vanderpool at or 501-376-4791, ext. 5154.


Eureka Springs Passion Play attendance up; large debt for attraction remains

EUREKA SPRINGS – Nightly attendance to "The Great Passion Play" performances has increased about 20 percent from a year ago, but the play still owes $2.53 million in principle on loans to the bank.

Click on image to listen to related Podcast.Play organizers told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in an article published June 25 that while $37,104 in back taxes and $77,080 due to a Eureka Springs bank have been paid, the play continues to undertake fundraising efforts to pay back additional debt.

Dick Kelsey, executive director of the play, said nightly attendance during May averaged about 500 for two performances during the week. In 2012, there were three performances of the play each week.

“This thing would function fine if we didn’t have the debt,” Kelsey told the Democrat-Gazette.

“Attendance is up,” Kelsey said. “Revenues are up. We’re taking care of the payment on the loan and everything is up-to-date. Basically, it has been a good year so far.”

Starting in June and July, the play will go to a four performances a week schedule - Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday - Kelsey told the Little Rock newspaper. He added play organizers believe an average attendance of 650 people for each performance is attainable by the end of July.

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Arkansas Christian Parent out for summer

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LITTLE ROCK – The phenomenal success of the first-ever Arkansas Christian Parent magazine has prompted the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) to publish a summer 2013 edition.

“The reception of Arkansas Christian Parent surprised us all,” said Tim Yarbrough, ABN editor. “When the magazine debuted at the 2012 Arkansas Baptist State Convention Annual Meeting in Cabot, we had no idea that 13,000 would be distributed at the meeting alone. In all, 35,000 copies were distributed across Arkansas.”

Churches are encouraged to provide copies to families in the church, as well as distribute copies in local businesses throughout their communities.

“Perhaps never before has the influence of a Christian parent been more important,” said Yarbrough. “That’s why the ABN is making a resource like Arkansas Christian Parent available. It is published as a resource for parents to help them make sense of the world that surrounds their children growing and maturing in the 21st century.”

Yarbrough added, “As society continues to shift away from traditional Judeo-Christian values, the family that looks to the unchanging Word of God can provide stability and the assurance of salvation found only in Jesus Christ.”

The summer edition of Arkansas Christian Parent addresses a number of important issues such as sending children into the world, raising compassionate children, discussing today’s headlines with children, helping bring simplicity and clarity to a stressful world, preparing financially for your children’s futures and much more.

“The only way we can provide Arkansas Christian Parent free of charge to churches is through the generous support of our advertisers,” said Yarbrough.

“I encourage Arkansas Baptists to support our advertisers and be sure to tell them that you saw their ad in Arkansas Christian Parent.”

Yarbrough said Arkansas Christian Parent is made available free of charge to churches requesting copies. However, copies cannot be mailed and must be picked up in Little Rock at the ABN offices or in the following ways:

– Through Arkansas Baptist State Convention staff who are assisting with distribution as they travel the state and visit churches.

– At Baptist association offices located throughout Arkansas.

Request copies of Arkansas Christian Parent here.


Williams Baptist College Phi Beta Lambda heads to nationals June 22-25  

WALNUT RIDGE – Over the last half-dozen years, the Williams Baptist College (WBC) chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) has brought home 37 national awards. Beginning this weekend, the Williams business students will once again have a chance to shine on the national stage when they head to Anaheim, Cal., for the national PBL competition, held June 22 through June 25. 

In April, WBC students earned a total of 38 certificates and placed in 26 events at the state PBL conference. As a result of their standout state performance, 29 Williams students qualified for nationals, and 19 will make the trip and compete. 

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