BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — The Brattleboro Retreat, Vermont's largest private psychiatric hospital, is laying 85 employees, about 15% of its workforce, as part of its effort to contain costs.

In addition to the layoffs, the Retreat is eliminating a number of programs.

The facility has reduced its workforce by more than 100 jobs through attrition. The retreat currently employs 550 people.

Retreat President Louis Josephson said the financial problems pre-date the pandemic, but admissions since the pandemic hit have dropped 30%.

“We are restructuring the Retreat to make it a lean organization. That is what this all came down to — to make ourselves sustainable,” he said.

The Retreat received $13 million in funding through the federal COVID-19 relief money, but it wasn't enough.

The Retreat will eliminate several of its out-patient addiction treatment programs, including one in which people can come to the facility to get medications to help treat opioid addiction challenges. It is also is closing its 35-child day care center and a school for young and adolescent patients.

The programs have always lost money, Josephson said.

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