Former Illinois governor pushes Pritzker to save South Side hospital

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“We want Mercy Hospital to be here today and be here forever,” said Quinn, who was born at the hospital. The former governor’s aunt was also a member of the Sisters of Mercy for over 65 years, according to her obituary in the Chicago Tribune

Quinn was joined by other Chicago Democrats, including Congressman Danny Davis, state Sen. Mattie Hunter, state. Rep. Theresa Mah and state Rep. Lamont Robinson. 

Mercy, owned by Catholic giant Trinity Health, announced it plans to close in the first half of 2021 after a proposal to merge the safety net with three other financially struggling Chicago hospitals collapsed in Springfield.

“What patients on the South Side need is more access to outpatient care," said a Mercy spokesperson in an emailed statement. "That was the focus of our Southside Transformation merger and it remains our focus looking forward to the future.”

Critics say the closure means there will be approximately 300 less hospital beds on Chicago’s South Side, impacting residents that are already disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and chronic conditions.

In a July 29 letter to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, Mercy officials said they are developing plans for a care center that would provide diagnostics and imaging, urgent care and coordination of health care providers and community services.

A spokesperson for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said the city is "committed to continuing Mercy Hospital’s legacy of promoting health equity for all residents throughout Chicago.” 

Mercy called on city leaders to rethink how health care is delivered on the South Side.

“The current approach to health care on the South Side today is causing rising disparities in outcomes of health that need to be addressed with preventive care," a spokesperson said in an email. "We encourage leaders across the city and the state to take the bold steps necessary not just to maintain the status quo that is perpetuating these disparities, but to do what is needed to truly transform the system so that it works for the patients we serve.”  

26-Delivered

via Crain’s Chicago Business

August 20, 2020 at 10:18AM

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