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Several Offers on the Table for Portage Park Hospital, Officials Say

  After losing money for three years in a row, Our Lady of the Resurrection hospital is for sale.
After losing money for three years in a row, Our Lady of the Resurrection hospital is for sale.
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DNAInfo/Heather Cherone

PORTAGE PARK — Several organizations have expressed interest in buying Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, a hospital official said.

Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) said Presence Health officials told him this week one or two companies had already submitted bids for the aging Portage Park hospital and expressed confidence it would remain open as a general acute care medical center.

"They feel pretty positive that they will be able to reach a deal that will keep it open as a full-service hospital," said Cullerton, whose ward includes the hospital. "It was a very encouraging meeting."

Although Presence Health officials have said they would require a new owner to retain the hospital's 900 employees and maintain the services it now offers, analysts have told DNAinfo Chicago that may not be possible because of its track record of losing money during a time of sweeping changes in the health care industry.

Presence Health spokeswoman Angela Benander declined to confirm that two companies have bid for the 269-bed hospital at 5645 W. Addison St., saying it was early in the process.

But “several organizations” have expressed interest in the hospital, Benander said.

Presence Health CEO Sandra Bruce announced March 20 that the hospital was being put up for sale after losing $9.8 million in 2013 and $12.5 million in 2012, even after extensive cost-cutting efforts. Losses for 2014 could reach $20 million, officials said.

Ald. Nicholas Sposato (36th) said he was cautiously optimistic the hospital would remain open. If the hospital closes, Portage Park would be transformed into a health care desert, he said.

Sposato is considering challenging Cullerton for the 38th Ward City Council seat. A large swath of the Far Northwest Side, including Dunning, will no longer be part of the 36th Ward under a new map set to take full effect in time for the February 2015 elections.

Cullerton said hospital officials sounded “pretty positive that they will be able to reach a deal," and said he would work to revive a plan he spearheaded several years ago to expand the Belmont-Cragin tax increment financing district to include the hospital.

That could generate between $6 million and $7 million to upgrade the hospital, Cullerton said.

“I think it is critical for the marketing of the hospital that it be included in the TIF district,” Cullerton said, adding that he has asked Mayor Rahm Emanuel to support the proposal.

Cullerton said he pressed Presence Health officials about what would happen if they can’t sell the hospital.

“I got what I call an aldermanic answer,” Cullerton said. “They said they weren’t even thinking that way.”

Hospital officials said they hope to announce Our Lady of the Resurrection's new owner by June 1, Cullerton said.