IOWA CITY, Iowa — An eastern Iowa hospital has announced layoffs and staff hour reductions that will affect 65 employees.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that Mercy Iowa City will also eliminate 50 positions through attritions and planned retirements.

The Roman Catholic health care system says the reductions are a result of a “challenging health care environment” and a competitive Iowa City market.

Hospital officials say the reductions will primarily affect administrative and support workers.

Mercy Iowa City announced earlier this year that it would become affiliated with the statewide Mercy Health Network, headquartered in West Des Moines. It previously tried to negotiate a partnership with Cedar Rapids-based UnityPoint Health, a move designed to increase operational efficiency. The hospitals later agreed not to pursue an affiliation.

Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen,