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Jody Lomeo says he hasn't been getting much sleep since he took over at Kaleida Health for the ousted Jim Kaskie last Friday.

Lomeo, who's the head of ECMC, was named as the interim CEO at Kaleida, which has four hospitals and about 10,000 employees.

He's spent much of his first week on the job having town hall meetings with employees at Women and Children's, Buffalo General and Millard Suburban, he still has to meet with employees at DeGraff.

A few months ago, with Kaleida having financial problems and about 100 employee positions were cut.

Scott Brown: "The big issue for employees is potential layoffs, what's your message about that?"

Jody Lomeo: "My message has been very clear: our expenses, our staffers need to be appropriately at the exact level of our (patient) volumes, so if our volumes go up we would flex our staffing in that direction, if our volumes go down, let's face it we have to take expense out of the system. So by no means am I signaling no more (layoffs), by no means am I signaling I have an ax in my hand and there's plans for much more."

Scott Brown: "But the potential is there for further layoffs?"

Jody Lomeo: "I think there always is and we're working to see, I'm assessing, I'm one week into this (job)."

In the third quarter of last year, Kaleida lost $14 million. Lomeo says over the past three or four years that Kaleida has been about break even financially.

Scott Brown: "There were concerns among employees about finances and possible bankruptcy, is there anything to that?"

Jody Lomeo: "Nothing. Zero. I would say this- Kaleida is much closer to greatness than they are to bankruptcy. Not even a discussion point, not even relevant."

Scott Brown: "Do you see Kaleida and ECMC if not merging, doing more things together?"

Jody Lomeo: "Yeah let me start with the merger talk because I want to make this clear. The 'M' word as I call it hasn't been used in any of the board rooms in four plus years. Do I see us further collaborating? Absolutely. Do I see a need for that? Absolutely. Whether it be on the physician side, whether it be training, whether it be otherwise."

Scott Brown: "There's been some criticism from the unions that the organization, Kaleida, is too top heavy, too many managers, your feeling?"

Jody Lomeo: "I'm evaluating all of that- if we are too top heavy, I'll change that."

Scott Brown: "Are you confident you can turn things around at Kaleida?"

Jody Lomeo: "Absolutely. I'm fully confident. I would tell you like I said earlier, for me I'm not at all concerned we have the right people. Ten thousand people in my mind they want to do this. We're off and running and I feel very, very confident."

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