Vancouver-based PeaceHealth is announcing a series of personnel reductions, including the elimination of 30 positions at St. John Medical Center in Longview. The health care provider announced the reductions yesterday, which they blame on declining patient volumes. A variety of factors are cited in that decline, including cuts in reimbursements due to state and federal health care reforms, loss of referrals due to the end of the contract with Kaiser Permanente, and required investments in electronic health records. Earlier in the year, all PeaceHealth facilities were directed to come up with 130 million dollars in savings, and these personnel reductions are part of that cost-cutting effort. A number of positions are being eliminated through consolidation and elimination of vacant positions, but layoffs will still be needed. That includes 30 slots at St. John, and 124 positions at Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver. PeaceHealth officials say that the affected personnel will “be notified shortly.” Even after the reduction, St. John will remain as one of the area’s largest employers, with around 1,200 employees.