WORCESTER - UMass Memorial Health Care laid off 17 people from information services Thursday, citing operating losses and changing work demands.
“In response to operating losses this fiscal year and the changing Information Technology work demands, 17 positions have been eliminated within our Information Services function,” UMass Memorial spokesman Tony Berry said in a statement Thursday. “We are working with our human resources partner to make sure we are responsive to the needs of the impacted team members during this difficult transition.”
The job losses were the latest in a string of announcements of belt-tightening at UMass Memorial Health Care and its HealthAlliance hospitals. Mr. Berry said the health services provider has operating losses of $22 million so far this year.
The endoscopy unit at UMass Memorial Health Alliance - Clinton Hospital closed Jan. 26 because of changes in physician staffing, Mr. Berry said.
In April, the health services provider announced it was closing its Plumley Village Health Services clinic on July 10 as part of an effort to trim spending. UMass Memorial Chief Executive Officer Dr. Eric Dickson said the move would save the health care system about $200,000.
A few weeks ago, the health care system said it would end outpatient psychiatry and outpatient physical therapy services at the Hahnemann Campus and at Queen Street in January. Mr. Berry said a new UMass Memorial Medical Group Department of Psychiatry outpatient office-based practice is expected to open in January at 100 Century Drive. UMass Memorial Health Care is also exploring a new outpatient physical therapy service at 151 Main St. in Shrewsbury, Mr. Berry reported.
On Oct. 1, the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation units in Leominster closed, as did the urgent care center in Fitchburg. On Oct. 5, inpatient pediatrics on the Leominster campus closed.
“We must continually review the services offered to assure they are meeting the needs of our patients as efficiently as possible,” Mr. Berry said in an email. “We have to protect the safety net for Central Massachusetts. This means making difficult decisions and taking painful steps to secure our ability to provide care to our community for the long term.”