The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital announced Tuesday that it had cut 11 administrative staff positions in an effort to save costs due to financial challenges presented by the pandemic.

In a statement, president and chief executive officer Denise Schepici said the cuts were effective immediately, and that none of the positions are related to direct patient care.

“This is a difficult decision, but unfortunately one we need to make,” Ms. Schepici said in the statement that went out Tuesday afternoon. “We are facing financial challenges due to Covid-19. At the same time, we are adding new patient care related positions that are needed to improve safety for our patients and staff.”

The hospital reported earlier in the spring that it had lost upwards of $7 million in operating revenues after having to halt elective surgeries, examinations and other lucrative in-person procedures. Ms. Schepici estimated losses at approximately $750,000 per week during the height of the pandemic.

By mid-summer, the hospital began taking more dramatic steps to steady finances, including a wage freeze for all staff and a nearly 25 per cent pay cut for Ms. Schepici.

The hospital is owned by Partners Healthcare system, which operates its parent hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. Many of the cost saving measures have occurred system wide, including the executive-level pay cuts.

In the release, Ms. Schepici said that of the 11 administrative positions eliminated Tuesday, two are director-level and one is from Windemere. Four of the positions were  vacant but would have been eliminated if the employees remained on-staff, according to Ms. Schepici.

“Decisions like these are never easy, especially when they affect our colleagues,” the statement says. “This path will allow us to return to a more stable financial position to deliver on our mission, and to protect our workforce for the longer term while continuing to support the care we provide our patients.”

In a brief interview with the Gazette, Ms. Schepici explained that despite an uptick in business since June, when the hospital began to reopen, certain revenue streams have remained tight.

Ms. Schepici declined to comment on the specific positions that have been eliminated.

“Not everything is coming back as quickly as we would like,” she said. “We are busy in the OR (Operating Room), but our ED (Emergency Department) volume is down, our primary care, our physician clinic visits are down. A lot of our outpatient visits are still down. And we’re talking double-digit percentages. We have started to do our 2021 budgets and we have to adjust accordingly, and reducing these positions gives us a little cushion for the new fiscal year which starts in October.”

Ms. Schepici said the pandemic has forced the hospital to add a large number of staff as well, necessitating the workforce reduction in other areas.

“We’ve had to add more nurses. We’ve had to step up the call center. We’ve had to staff up the testing tent. We’ve had to put patient ambassadors at the front door for patients,” Ms. Schepici said. “Our budgets are not unlimited. If you keep adding there, you have to contract somewhere.”

And with an uncertain future, Ms. Schepici said the hospital was forced to take the unfortunate step on Tuesday, especially as budget season approaches.

“We don’t know what’s ahead, if we have a surge, if I have to staff up, if things shut down again,” she said. “We are just trying to cover all of our bases, and give all of our effort, and all of our focus, to patient care.”