Red Cross restructuring board members protest - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Red Cross restructuring board members protest

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Some big changes are underway at the American Red Cross. The Northeast Louisiana chapter is losing four positions because of national restructuring.

Local Red Cross Executive Director, Anne Patten, a 26- year veteran was one of the four employees cut. She says the National Red Cross is moving from a local level to a regional structure.

"It has become one Red Cross and they want it operate as such and so everybody is helping everybody," said Patten.

At the Monroe American Red Cross news conference Thursday afternoon Anne Patten said these cuts were due to the National Red Cross trying to pay down their national debt.

"Somebody is looking at the big puzzle, the big picture and there trying to figure out how many people it will take to accomplish the task and in most instances it usually less people and more work," said Patten.

Instead of four full-time staff members, the local chapter will have one full-time position that will coordinate efforts when disaster strikes. Current employees and the board are not even certain that one worker will be based in the ARKLAMISS.

A volunteer member of the board of directors at the Red Cross, Bill Haddad, says even though they are cutting jobs, the American Red Cross will still be a part of the community.

Patten says whoever comes in to fill the coordinator role will have lots of work ahead of them to rebuild important relationships.

"The person that's coming in in a disaster role and to coordinate volunteers is going to have a big job because they've got to build those relationships and I think these relationships take time to earn respect," said Patten.

Chairman of the board, James Moore is skeptical of the changes ahead.

"You know part of having a board is a certain level of having support and which we've had here to a large degree and with Ann and her staff and when you take some of that away I think a big questions that's got to be answered is what that supports going to look like," said Moore.

The new Red Cross structure will be in place October first. The Northeast Louisiana chapter of the Red Cross covers eleven parishes. They'll receive more formal information on the changes soon.

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