KentuckyOne Health lays off 40 employees at St. Joseph hospitals

KentuckyOne Health laid off 40 employees at its St. Joseph Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital East locations in Lexington on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the organization, which formed earlier this year to operate St. Joseph Health System and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare, attributed the decision to challenges in the healthcare industry.

"Every health care organization today is being challenged to adapt to an ever-changing business environment," spokeswoman Barbara Mackovic said in a statement.

"Like most other systems, KentuckyOne Health continually monitors our patient volumes and adjusts staffing to meet those needs," the statement said. "When we have growth in certain areas, we increase our staffing needs.

"Unfortunately, when we see a decrease in patient demand, we must also adjust our staff accordingly."

Mackovic said she did not know the types of jobs that were being eliminated. It was also unclear how many layoffs occurred at each hospital.

Those laid-off employees that met certain seniority requirements were being given severance packages, she said.

St. Joseph also laid off 36 employees in November, or about 1 percent of its 3,500-person Lexington work force at the time. Of those, 32 were at the St. Joseph Hospital on South Broadway and four at St. Joseph East off Richmond Road.

Spokesman Jeff Murphy attributed the cuts at the time to factors including lower surgical volumes.