Decision on Our Lady of the Resurrection Hospital's Future Delayed Again

By Heather Cherone on December 5, 2013 6:54am 

 Officials at Our Lady of the Resurrection are considering closing the Portage Park hospitals, but opponents said that would turn Portage Park into a "health care desert."
Officials at Our Lady of the Resurrection are considering closing the Portage Park hospitals, but opponents said that would turn Portage Park into a "health care desert."
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DNAInfo/Heather Cherone

PORTAGE PARK — A decision about the fate of Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, which had been expected this week, will not be made until sometime in 2014, as officials weigh whether to shutter the Portage Park hospital while keeping its emergency room open, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Although the hospital's board will meet Thursday, it will not take any action that would reduce the number of beds at the Far Northwest Side hospital or reduce services to patients, Presence Health spokeswoman Angela Benander said.

Hospital leaders have been meeting with employees, elected officials and community members to craft a "workable plan" for the hospital "with an appropriate complement of inpatient services, comprehensive emergency services and outpatient services," Benander said.

"It is going to take a little bit more time," Benander said, adding that the board will be updated on those discussions and informed about the outline of the plan being developed.

A final recommendation will be presented to the board by March, she added.

News that the hospital may close drew fierce opposition from employees, residents and elected officials.

Presence Health operates 12 Catholic hospitals in the Chicago area, including Our Lady of the Resurrection, 5645 W. Addison St. 

In September, hospital officials had proposed ending in-patient services at the hospital while keeping the emergency room open. State law requires hospitals with emergency rooms to have at least 100 beds.

Patients who need to be admitted to a hospital would be transferred to Resurrection Medical Center, 7435 W. Talcott Ave., five miles away, according to hospital officials.

Eighty percent of the hospital's patients were covered by Medicare or Medicaid, or paid out of pocket, according to the hospital’s 2011 report to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The 269-bed hospital expects to lose $20.7 million this year and another $5.7 million next year, according to a memo sent to the nearly 900 employees who work at the medical center by hospital CEO John Baird.

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