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Suffolk County Layoffs Hit Department Of Health Especially Hard

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Employees of Suffolk County's Department of Health got layoff notices over the weekend, leaving many disheartened and many more worrying about additional cuts.

With the county drowning in red ink and shouldering a projected deficit of more than $500 million, 315 jobs will be axed. The hardest hit agency is the health department, where 123 positions are being cut.

1010 WINS' Mona Rivera Speaks With Some Facing Layoffs


Kristy Cimaglia, a public health educator, got one of the layoff notices and told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera she was was "surprised" to be on the list.

"It's really sad and upsetting," Cimaglia said. "It's horrible. I want to go and do my job."

The 315 job cuts, which will take effect on June 30, are expected to save about $11 million.

Lisa Kraut, a senior clerk at the Dept. of Health Education got a pink slip and said she is devastated.

"It's disheartening. I mean, I have two kids in school, I have school loans, I have car loans, mortgage payments. When you read this letter you're just sick to your stomach and you just sit there and go 'What now?" Kraut said.

The layoff list was reduced to 315 after Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone revised the 700 layoffs proposed by the previous county executive Steve Levy.

Lori Benincasa, director of Health Education, thinks her entire department could be gone soon.

"It looks like we will lose everybody else," she said.

Health care advocates argue that public health will feel the effect of the cuts and will suffer as a result of the layoffs.

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