April 18, 2024

UNC Health submits layoff notice at WakeBrook facility

UNC Health

UNC Health

Hundreds of UNC Health employees will be searching for new jobs as operations wind down at WakeBrook Behavioral Health.

Some 246 employees, including nurses, nursing assistants and behavioral health workers, will no longer be employed at WakeBrook as of Sept. 30.

“A priority placement program has begun for UNC Health’s WakeBrook teammates,” said Alan Wolf, spokesperson for UNC Health.

“We will provide WakeBrook teammates with priority access to interviews and applicable job openings while continuing their current pay and benefits,” he said. “UNC Health operates a large network of hospitals and clinics across the Triangle, and we will collaborate with each employee to identify new positions that fit their experience and interest.”

WakeBrook Behavioral Health provides mental health care and substance-use treatment for thousands of people. It is owned by Wake County, and UNC Health has been the medical provider of the facility for the last 10 years.

Earlier this year negotiations broke down between the two parties to keep UNC Health on board past Sept. 30.

“In a perfect world the transition would be seamless, and there would not be any disruption in service,” County Manager David Ellis said last month. “Hopefully, the impact will be minimal. But I cannot … promise that there will not be any disruption.”

Employers that close a facility or have mass layoffs must file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification or WARN notice with the state.

Wake County is actively searching for a new medical provider and intends to keep WakeBrook open.

More than 8,000 people received services in WakeBrook’s inpatient services unit during fiscal year 2022. The facility has 60 beds, including 28 inpatient beds and 16 addiction detox beds.

The UNC WakeBrook Primary Care clinic will relocated to 401 E. Whitaker Mill Road in September, Wolf said.

This story was originally published July 26, 2023, 1:39 PM.

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Anna Johnson covers Raleigh and Wake County for the News & Observer. She has previously covered city government, crime and business for newspapers across North Carolina and received many North Carolina Press Association awards, including first place for investigative reporting. She is a 2012 alumna of Elon University.
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