LEWISTON — Central Maine Healthcare CEO Jeff Brickman and board chairwoman Deborah Dunlap Avasthi issued a joint statement Tuesday, a day after medical staff at Central Maine Medical Center became the third group to vote no confidence in Brickman.

Jeff Brickman

In it they acknowledged staff members’ frustrations and concerns with the system, but they pointed out that not everyone at the meeting voted against the CEO.

“Importantly, it reflects a divided medical staff and speaks directly to the importance of communication and collaboration between senior leadership and our medical staff on how best to move CMH forward,” the statement read.

“We have a deep respect and appreciation for the many contributions of our medical staff and will carefully consider this feedback as we work through next steps.”

A spokeswoman for the hospital system declined to say what those next steps will be.

Staff at CMMC in Lewiston, one of the largest hospitals in the state, issued their no-confidence vote Monday evening. According to one staff member who asked to remain anonymous, the vote was 100-66, with a few people abstaining.

CMMC is the last of the system’s three hospitals to vote against Brickman. Bridgton Hospital medical staff voted no confidence two weeks ago and Rumford Hospital medical staff voted no confidence last week.

The hospitals are part of nonprofit Central Maine Healthcare, which also owns a collection of medical practices in 15 communities. With about 4,000 workers, Central Maine Healthcare is one of the largest employers in the area.

Brickman was named CEO two years ago. He’s made no secret of the system’s financial problems, or of the need to make changes.

Staffers throughout the hospital system have said they recognize the need for change and to save money, but they dislike Brickman’s management style – which they consider harsh – and they are concerned about ongoing financial problems and cuts in services.

The votes are symbolic, meant to convey the staffs’ unhappiness to the Central Maine Healthcare board of directors and urge it to do something.

This is the full statement released Tuesday:

“These are challenging times for community hospitals and we are no exception. The CMH board takes its fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. Last night’s vote by the CMMC medical staff affirms their frustration and concerns with issues impacting our organization and required system changes. Importantly, it reflects a divided medical staff and speaks directly to the importance of communication and collaboration between senior leadership and our medical staff on how best to move CMH forward. We have a deep respect and appreciation for the many contributions of our medical staff and will carefully consider this feedback as we work through next steps.”