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Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital to cut several positions

RUSSELL — Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital announced on Wednesday that it would be cutting a number of its 1,200 person staff, but the exact number of positions to be reduced wasn’t released. Some of the positions are already vacant, but the hospital will continue to hire in many patient care departments.

The announcement said that health care is changing and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital is always evaluating how it can best meet the community’s needs while serving as good stewards of its health ministry and resources.

“To ensure we can meet the health care needs of our patients well into the future, we are examining all expenses and identifying efficiencies, processes and best practices to help serve our community and keep our ministry viable. This work will result in the elimination of a number of positions, many of which are currently vacant,” the press release said.

It said the hospital remains the largest employer in Greenup County, with more than 1,000 employees both at the hospital and throughout the hospital’s affiliated practices and services in the Tri-State and “though the realignment will produce a reduction in some areas, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital is hiring in many of our patient care departments.”

OLBH was built in 1953 by Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, with 92 beds and 44 bassinets.

Since then it has grown into 214-bed hospital with 1,200 member staff.

Bon Secours bought the hospital in 2000, after the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Health System disbanded.

In September, it was announced that the Maryland-based Bon Secours Health System and the Cincinnati-based Mercy Health would merge to create Bon Secours Mercy Health, which will be among the largest health systems in the U.S. with hospitals in seven states. A press release called the new organization as being a combination of equals.