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Miss. Health Dept. avoids cutting jobs

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- The Mississippi State Department of Health has signed an agreement that it says will allow it to avoid layoffs for 41 employees and 41 contract workers who were part of a program to help women with high-risk pregnancies.

State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier says in a news release that the agreement with the Division of Medicaid will allow MSDH to continue providing Perinatal High Risk Management services to pregnant Medicaid patients and their infants.

Currier had told lawmakers in April that layoffs would occur July 1. However, Currier says the new agreement will go into effect June 1 and it will end June 30, 2014.

Currier says in Friday's news release that the layoffs are canceled.

Last fiscal year, MSDH served 6,200 high risk women and infants.