Review Board Votes to Close Westlake Hospital

An NBC 5 news crew watched as workers shuffled medical gear around and hauled off hospital equipment Wednesday afternoon.

Westlake Hospital's closure was approved by a unanimous vote from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board Tuesday. 

The hospital's fate had been up in the air after an appeals court reversed a lower court ruling barring the closing of the Chicago-area hospital.

The Illinois Appellate Court had earlier ruled the village of Melrose Park had no grounds to request a temporary restraining order against Pipeline Health, owner of Westlake Hospital. Village officials asserted the hospital's closure would adversely affect the community.

Pipeline Health said staffing issues caused it to suspend services. CEO Jim Edwards says the company is pleased the appellate court has ruled in its favor.

Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico said the village will continue to fight the hospital's planned closure. 

“It’s a shame that the Health Facilities Review Board couldn’t find the courage to do the right thing for the most vulnerable people,” Serpico said in a statement. “It’s also puzzling that the board would so flagrantly disregard their own rules. As a result of their action we are calling today on Attorney General Kwame Raoul to investigate the Health Facilities Services and Review Board decision to approve Pipeline Health’s fraudulent purchase and closing of Westlake Hospital. Was there a nod and a wink between Pipeline and members of the Health Facilities Review Board? We call on the Attorney General to get to the bottom of this scandalous action.”

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