St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula is working to save over $5 million between now and March 2014 through program restructuring and targeted staff reductions, according to a prepared statement.

In a news release issued on November 22, President of Providence Western Montana's Western Montana Region and CEO of St. Patrick Hospital Jeff Fee said the effort to reduce expenses will not compromise patient care.

"As hospitals across the nation are figuring out how to adapt to a new model for healthcare, we're all facing the same challenges," the release reads."We're hearing that there are rumors about cuts and layoffs and want to speak directly to our community and employees with facts. We, like the rest of the healthcare industry, have financial pressures, but we're working together to manage those pressures without negatively affecting patient care."

Fee's statement laid out some of the challenges and changes that the hospital will be considering.

"Each department will be responsible for finding efficiencies, eliminating duplication and being more effective without compromising patient care," the statement read. "There have been some program restructuring and targeted reductions in the past month that have impacted staff."

The news release continued to explain that there will not be a large-scale reduction of staff.

"There will be no across the board layoffs, however, as the healthcare industry changes some new jobs will be created, many jobs will change and some other jobs will go away," the statement read. "The transition will be painful, but cannot be avoided if the community expects an improved healthcare delivery system that is also more affordable."

The iconic Life Flight transport system was also addressed in the statement.

"Life Fight is an extraordinarily important service to the Western Montana area," the statement read. "The rapidly changing, competitive landscape of patient transport, coupled with the financial pressures the industry is facing has led many health systems to look at alternative models to ensure continuity of safe, high quality, sustainable patient transport. St. Patrick Hospital is absolutely committed to ensuring Western Montana continues to enjoy exactly that."

Fee's news release also indicated that the intent is to keep the hospital's standards at their current high level.

"We intend to remain leaders in the health of our community for the next 140 years, but the way we do it will change," the statement said. "Our industry and our team are accustomed to challenges and we'll meet those head on, all the while staying true to our fundamental mission."