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December 12, 2023

St. Mary's Health System in Lewiston cutting 31 jobs

Courtesy / St. Mary's via Facebook St. Mary's Health System, including the 233-bed medical center shown here on Campus Avenue, is cutting a total of 31 jobs.

Lewiston's second-largest health care provider, St. Mary's Health System, is cutting 31 jobs and cutting hours back for others in an effort to stem rising financial losses.

The health care system would not provide details about the cuts, but in a statement Tuesday to Mainebiz said they "primarily affect specific operational areas within St. Mary’s, minimizing the impact on patient-facing roles." Some workers are also transferring within the system, which includes 233-bed flagship St. Mary's Regional Medical Center.

The layoffs and other changes come as St. Mary’s has faced growing fiscal and operational challenges over recent years. Like many providers, the system has struggled to cope with staffing shortages, increasing expenses and declining patient revenue.

St. Mary’s has reported operating losses over the past five years and said it will close 2023 with a negative operating margin.

“This decision was not made lightly,” said Cindy Segar-Miller, president of St. Mary's Health System. “It reflects the seriousness of our financial challenges and our desire to protect our community and employees from even deeper, more painful cuts in the future.

"These changes have touched all levels and many areas of our health system, including team members in top leadership positions.”

Severance pay and extended health coverage are being offered to eligible employees whose jobs have been eliminated.

St. Mary's has downsized over the past decade in response to economic pressures.

In July 2022, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center closed its maternity and women’s health unit, citing a decline in area birth rates. The hospital transferred patients and their medical records to Central Maine Medical Center, a mile away in downtown Lewiston.

Founded in 1888, what is now St. Mary's was the first hospital in Lewiston-Auburn and the first Catholic hospital in Maine. St. Mary's Health System currently employs about 1,000 people and comprises the regional medical center on Campus Avenue, near Bates College, as well as offices, labs and clinics across Lewiston and Auburn.

The medical center is the fourth-largest hospital in the state, according to the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists, after 250-bed Central Maine Medical Center.

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