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Ramsey: U of L, health giant alliance has challenges

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - University of Louisville President James Ramsey acknowledges that the school's 16-month-old alliance with the financially struggling hospital giant KentuckyOne Health "has had its challenges," but said he still expects the partnership to fulfill expectations.

"We knew when we entered the partnership, (getting money promised to U of L) would be slow and the partnership would have its ups and downs," Ramsey told The Courier-Journal in a recent interview. "And it has been slow and has had its challenges."

The partnership was finalized early last year after a controversial failed merger attempt. The partnership calls for KentuckyOne to invest $135 million in U of L over three to five years to support public health, nursing and other areas. So far, $44 million has been paid.

Ramsey said the company has met its contractual obligations, but he would have preferred having more money up front. That way, he said, it could be invested in programs more quickly or programs could be launched with the knowledge that the money is there.

"They looked at these as expenditures," Ramsey said. "We looked at them as investments."

U of L's president added that he continues to believe the partnership "will meet our expectations."

Ramsey's comments come as KentuckyOne works to close a $218 million deficit in a rapidly changing health care environment.

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