Bangor very low-money dental clinic lays off nearly fifty percent its workers

Nov. 23—The only greater Bangor dental clinic accepting MaineCare has laid off just about fifty…

Bangor low-income dental clinic lays off nearly half its staff

Nov. 23—The only greater Bangor dental clinic accepting MaineCare has laid off just about fifty percent its staff members as section of a restructuring hard work in the middle of a national labor scarcity.

Penobscot Local community Dental Treatment laid off 31 workers two months in the past whilst undergoing a reorganization in response to “switching demographics and other variations in Maine and in dental care,” spokesperson Kate Carlisle explained Monday. Laid-off personnel provided dentists, dental assistants, hygienists and specialists.

The restructuring was carried out to “reimagine provider roles” and enable the clinic to “glance ahead to staffing and do the job flows” permitting the clinic to proceed giving fundamental expert services and meet demand from customers for adult dental solutions immediately after Maine passed a law this summer months increasing MaineCare to include dental care for lower-cash flow adults, Carlisle said.

It makes the clinic the only just one of its kind in Maine to announce major layoffs for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The timing stunned some, with an sector group formal stating she did not know why the clinic would be laying critical staff members off now.

Laid-off personnel ended up staying welcomed back to apply for recently defined roles. The dental clinic, which serves individuals as element of Penobscot Group Well being Treatment, mentioned 20 providers on its web site on Monday. Sixty-five people today labored at the clinic right before the layoffs, Carlisle claimed.

In addition to the layoffs, the standard dentistry provider was paused for four weeks to complete the restructuring work, but wander-in, cleanliness and orthodontic appointments were being still remaining honored, Carlisle reported. The clinic will also conclusion a longstanding dental residency method in June, she explained.

Penobscot Local community Dental Clinic is a single of four minimal-price tag dental treatment suppliers in Penobscot County. It is the only in Bangor that accepts MaineCare, the state’s model of Medicaid, the federal wellbeing treatment system for reduced-income folks, according to a Shoppers for Cost-effective Overall health Treatment point sheet.

Overall health care has been hit hard by the pandemic worker lack, with 15 % of Maine’s job losses between March 2020 and October 2021 attributed to the sector, according to Maine Division of Labor data.

Kathy Ridley, the interim executive director of the Maine Dental Association, explained she did not realize why the clinic would lay off dentists, assistants and hygienists now, nor did she know what the restructuring entailed.

“I know that they’re restructuring and I just don’t know why,” Ridley explained. “I you should not have the awareness to report on that.”

Carlisle experienced no response to Ridley’s comment but said “recruiting for dentists and dental assistants remains tough in rural states like Maine and is projected to get more durable,” and that laying off the 31 personnel would stay clear of possessing to talk to them to retrain or adapt to new duties or a new perform design and style and would avoid “detrimental results.”

PCHC also employs Maine’s 1st dental therapist, a new group of dental experienced produced by the Legislature 7 decades ago in aspect to ease recruiting challenges. The clinic hopes to employ the service of extra therapists and the new changes will assist the clinic “superior embrace that model of care,” Carlisle explained.

Correction: An previously model of this story had an incorrect reference to the quantity of laid-off staff members. It is 31.