MaineGeneral Health, Kennebec County’s largest employer, is in the midst of a major reorganization, but it is not known yet which communities might see their workforce grow and which might see it shrink.

Chuck Hays, MaineGeneral’s chief executive officer, said the hospital is committed to maintaining its regional presence, which now includes providing jobs to about 4,100 people.

Employment data recently released by MaineGeneral shows that nearly half of its employees work in Augusta, about 1,600 work in Waterville, and the balance is spread among nine other communities.

The organization’s Waterville workers are spread among the soon-to-be-closed Seton campus, the soon-to-be-renovated Thayer Center for Health, Elmwood Primary Care, individually sited practices on Kennedy Memorial Drive, and the Hathaway Creative Center, where MaineGeneral’s presence will more than double.

The broad strokes of the plan are known, but many details, including the shuffling of employees and services from one area to another, have yet to be finalized, according to Joy Leach, a spokeswoman for the organization.

Thayer, for example, will undergo a $10 million renovation that will consolidate many existing outpatient services under its roof.

Hays said the purpose is to help serve patients better.

“We purposely chose to have clinical practices fill that space,” he said. “Locating more clinical departments under one roof at the Thayer Center for Health gives patients the ability to have tests and procedures done without the added stress or strain of having to travel.”

At Thayer, while outpatient services are being added, the inpatient services, including those requiring an overnight stay, are leaving.

All of the organization’s inpatient services will be consolidated into the Alfond Center for Health, a new $312 million facility in Augusta that will be fully loaded with modern features, building design and technology. The center also will house inpatient services now at the East Chestnut Street hospital in Augusta and Seton hospital in Waterville, both of which have been sold and will be closed.

The exact effect at Thayer, which will maintain its round-the-clock emergency room, isn’t known; but Leach said about half of the existing workforce will leave, and about 300 workers from other sites will be added, for a net loss of about 200 employees there.

Meanwhile, the workforce at the Hathaway Creative Center in downtown Waterville is expected to grow. About 150 hospital employees work there now, in MaineGeneral Home Care and Hospice, MaineGeneral Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, human resources, information technology, and philanthropy.

The hospital is leasing more space in the center and plans to move 180 more employees who perform back-office functions such as billing into the building, which will more than double that site’s workforce.

The hospital has not provided estimates of the net effect on the larger, 1,590-member workforce in Waterville, but Hays has said the hospital is committed to maintaining its status as Waterville’s largest employer.

MaineGeneral is the largest employer in Kennebec County and eighth-largest in the state, according to data from the Maine Department of Labor.

The exact breakdown of MaineGeneral’s total 4,106 employees includes 2,006 in Augusta, 1,590 in Waterville, 201 in Gardiner, 74 in Oakland, 66 in Winthrop, 63 in Hallowell, 43 in Fairfield, 36 in Jackman, 16 in Skowhegan, eight in Sidney and three in Manchester.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287
[email protected]

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