American Lung Cuts One-Third Of Staff

May 20, 2013       Patrick Sullivan      

The American Lung Association (ALA) has eliminated 24 positions from its national staff of 71. The cuts come in an effort to shore up a $4 million operating deficit from the Washington, D.C.-based organization’s $55 million 2013 budget. Positions have been eliminated in the ALA’s Washington, D.C., and New York City offices.

Staff was notified about the cuts last week, and the cuts went into effect immediately. The elimination of the positions comes after an internal assessment. “The American Lung Association underwent an assessment to help identify strategies that would enable us to increase mission impact and improve our financial strength, said Mary Havell McGinty, assistant vice president of communications and marketing.

McGinty said the cuts would help the ALA “put forth a balanced budget in fiscal year 2014, which starts for us on July 1, 2013.” The ALA is also reviewing current contracts and limiting travel in an effort to save on operational overhead, she said.

The cuts were “fairly spread all around” the two national offices, according to McGinty. Some 9 positions were cut from the D.C. office and 11 from New York, as well as four national staffers who worked remotely.

“Every department was impacted,” McGinty said. The field support department was eliminated, and the organization plans to implement a shared services model with its 10 chartered associations around the country. There will also be a reorganization of the development department.

The shared services would “streamline those sorts of back-end processes” such as human resources and bookkeeping and would include “some if not all 10 chartered associations,” said McGinty. She was unable to elaborate on the changes in the development department. “We are still in the process of identifying how our fundraising approach will be reorganized,” she said.

“These changes were to allow us to have a deeper focus on our core mission, and allow us to put more funds to research, advocacy and local programs,” said McGinty. “These changes in operations will allow us to have that deeper focus. We remain committed to improving lung health and serving individuals with lung disease.”

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