LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville has the facilities. Now it needs the people.

U of L is looking to fill nearly 300 nursing and 100 physician jobs across its $1.3 billion health system, which now includes Jewish Hospital and the other hospitals and outpatient centers formerly owned by KentuckyOne Health.

That’s in addition to roughly 5,000 KentuckyOne employees that U of L added to its payroll in December, U of L Health CEO Tom Miller told the school’s board of trustees on Thursday.

Miller told reporters that KentuckyOne was understaffed because many nurses and doctors left during the two-year period in which KentuckyOne parent company Catholic Health Initiatives was openly trying to sell the Louisville properties.

“As you went through this two-and-a-half-year process, people weren’t sure whether they were going to have a job there and left,” Miller said, adding that Jewish Hospital sometimes turned down surgeries because of a lack of staffing. “We’re trying to refill those positions.”

Nurses are in high demand, Miller added.

“When we start saying we’re gonna hire 300 nurses, our competitors are saying, ‘Not from me,’” Miller told the board of trustees.

U of L bought the money-losing KentuckyOne system – four hospitals, four outpatient centers and a physician practice group – in November for a song.

Miller told the trustees that the integration has gone well so far.

“Everything is on target and everything is better than we thought it would be,” he said.

Challenges remain, he said, such as making the information technology system of the former KentuckyOne properties compatible with that of U of L Health.

Until those systems are integrated, U of L has to pay KentuckyOne’s parent, Catholic Health Initiatives, $26 million a year to lease the IT platform, Miller said.

Another issue, Miller said, is that KentuckyOne healthcare practioners were generally paid less than counterparts at U of L.

“We’ve recognized there is a pay disparity, and over the next six months we’re going to be addressing that,” Miller said.

Miller said it will cost about $6 million a year to bring the pay of former KentuckyOne workers in line, but he didn’t know how much the typical worker’s pay would change.

To see open nursing and other healthcare positions, go here. Doctors may contact a physician recruiter at 502-588-4211.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.