Illinois Board Rejects Plan to Close Chicago's Mercy Hospital

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A state board rejected a plan Tuesday to close a Chicago hospital after pleas from the community to keep the doors open.

Trinity Health wants to close Mercy Hospital in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, saying the site is losing money as well as patients. It has proposed to open an outpatient clinic about two miles away.

“Failure to acknowledge the realities of today will mean that the residents of the South Side of Chicago will continue to suffer gross health care inequities,” said John Capasso, a Trinity Health executive vice president.

But the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 6-0 to reject the plan. Trinity Health said it will return to the board in 2021.

Betty Chang, a first-year medical student, said Blacks and Latino would be adversely affected if Mercy closes.

"These communities need your help, and they deserve to survive,” Chang said at the meeting.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn said it was “preposterous” to propose closing a hospital during a pandemic.

“This is corporate medicine at its worst,” Quinn said.

Mercy's roots go back to 1852 when the Sisters of Mercy converted an old rooming house into a hospital. The hospital has been at its current location since 1968.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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