Citing financial challenges, Mercy-Iowa City will eliminate or reduce hours for 65 full- and part-time employees and leave dozens of empty positions unfilled, the Corridor Business Journal reported. Shane Cerone, Mercy-Iowa City’s newly appointed interim CEO, said the move was made to improve the hospital's operating and financial performance. Along with the 65 jobs that were eliminated or reduced in hours, another 50 positions vacated through retirements or normal attrition will remain vacant. Mercy's cutbacks come four months after the hospital announced it had entered a strategic affiliation agreement with West Des Moines-based Mercy Health Network, a Catholic health network of 42 hospitals and 207 clinics throughout Iowa. An earlier proposed deal with UnityPoint Health, also based in West Des Moines, fell through this past spring due to "industry challenges."