As the organization continues to find ways to make up for substantial operating losses, about 50 employees were laid off from Southcoast Health on Friday.

In a statement, Southcoast Health spokesperson Peter Cohenno said the organization closed this past fiscal year with a $38 million operating loss, "which includes costs related to restructuring and higher-than-budgeted losses from the Southcoast Physicians Group."

Friday's layoffs were spread across all areas of Southcoast Health.

"We carefully and thoughtfully reviewed the timing of this decision along with our organization's financial needs," Cohenno said. "We determined that it was in the best interest of those impacted to make this decision prior to the holidays as opposed to immediately thereafter."

On October 25, Southcoast Health announced it had offered to buy out "regular status employees" that were at least 62 years old and had worked for the organization for at least 20 consecutive years. Of the 352 employees that were eligible, 189 accepted what Southcoast Health called a "largely successful voluntary severance initiative."

Cohenno said some of those positions need to be filled, and that Southcoast Health hopes "to fill these positions with people whose positions are being eliminated in today's reductions."

There also could be more financial changes forthcoming.

"Our industry continues to change dramatically, and we are changing with it, always anticipating that change and staying several steps ahead," Cohenno said. "We aren't yet where we want to be financially, but we are on the path to financial success."

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