The chief financial officer for Lee Health said the local hospital system could break even by the end of the year after it was hit hard in 2020. Its deficit is about $18 million, down significantly from $90 million five months ago.

To save money, Lee Health created a voluntary exit program, allowing staff to leave their positions without penalty and collect a severance package or take a summer sabbatical. 

CFO Ben Spence said the hospital is even prepared for another spike in COVID-19 cases. Spence said that no matter how much money Lee Health loses, the standard of care will not change.