LEWISTON — St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center’s oncology practice stopped accepting new patients at the beginning of the month and will close its oncology practice July 1, according to a statement posted on the hospital system’s cancer care webpage.

The statement indicated the closing is part of a change in the system’s relationship with MaineHealth, Maine Medical Center’s parent company in Portland. The change is ending a joint partnership and resuming an affiliate relationship between the two systems similar to what existed prior to 2021.

“We want to emphasize that this retooling of our relationship does not change the fact that we regard our MaineHealth colleagues as important partners committed to delivering high-quality care to people in Lewiston-Auburn and surrounding communities,” the statement said.

While oncology services will end, urology, ear, nose and throat, cardiology, vascular surgery and general surgery will continue at St. Mary’s, according to the statement. The hospital’s Infusion Center will remain open for non-oncological services.

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, seen in June 2021 from above Sabattus Street in Lewiston, announced that they are closing their oncology practice July 1. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

“As part of this new arrangement, some practice operations at St. Mary’s will be shifted to other locations, or in some cases, patients will be referred to new providers,” according to the statement.

Hospital officials had not responded by late afternoon Monday to several questions, including how many patients would be affected by the closure.


Current oncology providers will relocate to MaineHealth Cancer Care at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, spokesman Benjamin Sullivan said in an email Monday to the Sun Journal. Other oncology staff will be offered positions at St. Mary’s hospital or at an affiliated provider practice, he said.

Central Maine Medical Center is encouraging cancer patients from St. Mary’s to use its services, according to spokesman Jim Cyr. Last fall Central Maine Healthcare, CMMC’s parent, entered into a partnership with New England Cancer Specialists to manage the hospital’s oncology practice and chemotherapy treatments, along with providing other benefits to the hospital system’s patients.

St. Mary’s Health System has faced significant financial hardships in the past few years, with Massachusetts-based Covenant Health, which owns St. Mary’s, covering financial shortfalls in the amount of $88 million collectively over the past three years.

The hospital system has taken several measures over the past few years to cut its spending and raise capital, some of which include selling a convent in 2019, shutting its maternity ward in 2022, staff layoffs and ending programs.

The health system has a large behavioral health service, providing significant services to those with mental health issues in the area. Maine lawmakers recently enacted legislation giving a one-time $8.9 million to the health system to help support its behavioral health services. If the funding had not been approved, behavioral health services at the hospital might have seen significant cuts, officials had warned.

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