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Bangor low-earnings dental clinic lays off approximately 50 percent its workers

The only bigger Bangor dental clinic accepting MaineCare has laid off virtually 50 percent its employees as portion of a restructuring work in the middle of a national labor lack.

Penobscot Local community Dental Care laid off 31 employees two months back even though undergoing a reorganization in reaction to “changing demographics and other variations in Maine and in dental care,” spokesperson Kate Carlisle said Monday. Laid-off workforce involved dentists, dental assistants, hygienists and experts.

The restructuring was performed to “reimagine service provider roles” and permit the clinic to “look ahead to staffing and operate flows” enabling the clinic to continue on supplying basic companies and fulfill demand for adult dental products and services soon after Maine passed a legislation this summer time expanding MaineCare to include dental treatment for low-money grownups, Carlisle stated.

It helps make the clinic the only a single of its sort in Maine to announce major layoffs for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The timing surprised some, with an market team official stating she did not know why the clinic would be laying vital personnel off now.

Laid-off personnel were being remaining welcomed again to utilize for recently outlined roles. The dental clinic, which serves patients as section of Penobscot Community Health and fitness Treatment, listed 20 vendors on its internet site on Monday. Sixty-five folks labored at the clinic right before the layoffs, Carlisle reported.

In addition to the layoffs, the standard dentistry assistance was paused for 4 months to complete the restructuring work, but wander-in, cleanliness and orthodontic appointments ended up even now being honored, Carlisle claimed. The clinic will also end a longstanding dental residency system in June, she stated.

Penobscot Community Dental Clinic is a person of 4 small-cost dental care vendors in Penobscot County. It is the only in Bangor that accepts MaineCare, the state’s variation of Medicaid, the federal wellbeing treatment program for minimal-income people, according to a Consumers for Affordable Overall health Treatment actuality sheet.

Wellbeing treatment has been strike really hard by the pandemic employee shortage, with 15 percent of Maine’s work losses amongst March 2020 and October 2021 attributed to the sector, in accordance to Maine Office of Labor facts.

Kathy Ridley, the interim executive director of the Maine Dental Association, stated 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 are restructuring and I just do not know why,” Ridley stated. “I really don’t have the knowledge to report on that.”

Carlisle experienced no response to Ridley’s remark but stated “recruiting for dentists and dental assistants stays complicated in rural states like Maine and is projected to get more challenging,” and that laying off the 31 staff would prevent getting to request them to retrain or adapt to new duties or a new perform type and would stay away from “negative effects.”

PCHC also employs Maine’s to start with dental therapist, a new group of dental qualified established by the Legislature 7 decades back in section to ease recruiting difficulties. The clinic hopes to use much more therapists and the modern variations will aid the clinic “better embrace that product of care,” Carlisle mentioned.

Correction: An previously version of this tale had an incorrect reference to the quantity of laid-off employees. It is 31.

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