Weeks before layoffs, KentuckyOne Health touted senior jobs - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Weeks before layoffs, KentuckyOne Health touted addition of senior jobs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Shortly before it began layoffs last week, KentuckyOne Health boasted in a message to employees that it had recently added more than 20 high-level jobs.

In a Jan. 14 post on its employee website, KentuckyOne said it had "welcomed more than 20 vice president or above positions" during the previous twelve months – "roughly one every two weeks in the fiscal year 2013."

KentuckyOne, which owns Jewish Hospital and operates most of University of Louisville Hospital, began eliminating jobs earlier this month, a process that will be complete by next week.

The company – a unit of Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives – has said it needs to improve its results by $218 million by mid-2015. It has not said how many jobs it's cutting or from which facilities.

"We would like to have discussions with our employees first before any announcement to the media," KentuckyOne spokeswoman Barbara Mackovic said in an email Tuesday.

KentuckyOne eliminated about 66 positions from Jewish Hospital on Tuesday, one of the affected employees told WDRB. The employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said a list of eliminated jobs was distributed and that many departments were affected.

KentuckyOne was formed in 2012 by the merger of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Healthcare in Louisville and the St. Joseph's health system in Lexington.

Last year, KentuckyOne took over most of the operations of University Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center through a partnership with U of L.

The Jan. 14 KentuckyOne post that mentions the addition of high-level employees also said the system had brought on "more than 900 new hires" since January 2013.

Mackovic said the post, while made in January, actually came from an October employee newsletter. She said the 900-job reference reflects typical turnover in a large health care organization, not the addition of new positions. She could not speak to the "more than 20" senior positions that the post mentions.

As part of the U of L partnership, KentuckyOne absorbed most of U of L's employees from University Hospital and the Brown Cancer Center early last year.

Before the layoffs began, KentuckyOne had almost 15,000 across more than a dozen facilities including St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital in Louisville.

Reach reporter Chris Otts: 502-585-0822. Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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