AUBURN – The Dempsey Center announced Monday that it was eliminating five positions as a result of declining donations and the cancellation of several fundraisers.

Wendy Tardif, executive director of Dempsey Center, said Monday that the organization’s plan to stay afloat, in addition to the layoffs, involves “substantial budget cuts including vendor relationships and professional expenses.”

The positions being eliminated were not immediately known Monday evening.

Tardif said the pandemic has also forced Dempsey Center to adapt, which resulted in the launch of Dempsey Connects, a virtual center that allows clients to use Dempsey Center services from their home.

She said that clients have reacted positively to Dempsey Connects and have expressed interest in using virtual services, even after social distancing restrictions loosen and in-person services resume.

“According to a recent survey, 43% of patients used a virtual adult counseling session, 26% participated in a virtual fitness program, and 59% said they would prefer a mix of virtual and in-person services moving forward,” Tardif said.

While the Dempsey Centers in Lewiston and South Portland remain closed due to the coronavirus, Tardif said, “We plan to reopen both centers this fall based on CDC guidance, patient feedback and best practices in health care.”

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