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KentuckyOne Health Lays Off 500, Cuts 200 Vacant Jobs

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Louisville-based KentuckyOne Health has laid off about 500 employees and cut 200 vacant positions in an effort to address a $218-million budget deficit.In a video posted Friday to employees,KentuckyOne chief executive Ruth Brinkley confirmed the layoffs and said the laid-off employees would be given priority consideration for jobs in the system.In January, KentuckyOne said it needed to make up $218-million by the end of its 2015 fiscal year. "Through the reduction of positions, we are closer to reversing our financial losses," Brinkley said in the video.She said it was the end of "this phase of workforce reductions." The laid-off employees are getting severance  and other support, she said.KentuckyOne announced earlier in the week that the emergency room at Medical Center Jewish Northeastwould close in April.KentuckyOne Health is part of Catholic Health Initiatives, which formed in 2012 and initially included Jewish Hospital and the St. Joseph Health System. In November 2012, University Hospital and KentuckyOne entered a joint operating agreement, but only after Gov. Steve Beshear rejected a full merger.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.