Chicago Hospital Losing Nurses to McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility

Many nurses at a hospital on Chicago's West Side opted to leave the facility for better pay

The CEO of Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood says the hospital is losing nurses to a new alternate care facility at the McCormick Place, and as a result, is pleading with state leaders for help.

Norwegian American Hospital, a 200-bed safety net hospital, provides care to low income and vulnerable populations on the city's West side.

In recent weeks, nurses at the facility have left for better pay at the McCormick Place, which has been transformed into an "alternate care facility" to house coronavirus patients during the pandemic.

Jose Sanchez, the CEO of Norwegian American Hospital said, while many nurses have left, the hospital is also having a hard time attracting agency and travel nurses.

"I know its not intentional, but really we need to make resources in community and outside of it," said Heather Kahn, the hospital's chief nurse executive.

At his daily coronavirus press briefing Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said there has been no recruitment of healthcare workers for the McCormick Place facility, and nurses decided to leave on their own accord.

Like many small, community hospitals Norwegian said it will continue doing the best it can with its resources and its workers during the difficult time.

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