Calais Regional Hospital cuts staff, freezes salaries to address deficits

Posted July 09, 2012, at 5:34 p.m.
Michael K. Lally, CEO of Calais Regional Hospital.
Courtesy of Calais Regional Hospital
Michael K. Lally, CEO of Calais Regional Hospital.

CALAIS, Maine — Calais Regional Hospital has eliminated 13 positions as one element of a strategy to return to operating in the black.

Ten other positions that already were vacant will not be filled, dropping the total staff full-time equivalent head count to 224.

Citing lower patient head counts, reduced levels of reimbursement for services and the recent closure of the city’s only nursing home, hospital officials say the 25-bed facility through the end of May was operating at a $1 million loss this calendar year.

Among the steps being implemented, said hospital spokesperson DeeDee Travis, is a freeze on salary increases and matching pension contributions. Austerity measures will affect everyone on staff, she said, including hospital executives.

“None of the force reductions affect the quality of care or delivery of needed services to any of our patients,” CEO Michael K. Lally said in a prepared statement. “In fact, we are undertaking these measures to protect our core services in the face of mounting challenges to our industry.

“While these cost containment actions are consistent with national trends in the healthcare industry, it is always difficult to lay off personnel who have performed their jobs capably and professionally,” Lally said. “This workforce reduction was not a decision arrived at quickly or without consideration for staff and patients.”

Hospital employees have been notified of the reductions. Those directly affected were informed individually.

This week’s layoffs come on the heels of 92 health care workers recently losing their jobs with the closure of the Atlantic Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, the Washington County community’s only nursing home.

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