As many local businesses face the prospect of having to cut staff either temporarily or permanently because of the economic impact of COVID-19, at least one company in the city is growing.

According to Jon McDevitt, senior vice president of technolgy-enabled services, athenahealth, a provider of cloud-based IT services for doctors' offices whose operations are headquartered in the city, plans to hire more than 100 employees over the next year. The Belfast workforce is more than 800, he said, and all of athena's services flow through the office here. The company has openings in a variety of fields, including analytics, medical coding, customer support and more; jobs range from entry level to management.

He said now is a good time for the company to hire because it is growing, as it has been doing almost since its beginning. "We're thrilled that we're doing well, and growing and hiring," because many people are looking for work as a result of unprecedented layoffs resulting from the pandemic. McDevitt said his company, which employees 5,000 and has customers in all 50 states, is seeing "huge" demand for the services it provides.

One way the company has responded to the public health emergency, he said, is by adding a telehealth app to its software so that doctors could see patients remotely when it was not advisable for them to come into the office.

Regarding athena's own employees, McDevitt noted that about 90% of those in the Belfast office are working from home now, and he expects that to continue for the foreseeable future. "We're going to play it safe" with regard to bringing workers back into the office, he said. He added that most of the new employees the company will hire this year can be recruited and trained remotely. A few, such as those in the mail room, will have to be on-site, and athena is following CDC guidelines with respect to preventing the spread of the coronavirus, he said.

To learn more about openings available at athenahealth, visit its website, While health care experience is a plus, he said, it is not required. Regarding the layoff of around 20 employees in April 2019, he said, "we have hired a lot more than 20 employees since then," and, while life offers no guarantees, he feels comfortable saying the new hires will have jobs well into the future.