Chicago activists want Mercy Hospital & Medical Center to be fully funded or for the Illinois governor and Chicago mayor to back a merger plan that collapsed due to a lack of state funding, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Mercy announced July 29 that it will close in 2021, pending approval from the state review board. The South Side hospital noted that it can no longer sustain monthly operating losses of $4 million.
The decision to close came after a deal fell through in which Mercy would have joined forces with three other South Side hospitals — Advocate Trinity Hospital, South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital — to create an independent health system. Mercy and its would-be partners called off the deal in late May after the state funding for the $1.1 billion project fell through.
Now a group of Black community activists are demanding action versus “deafening silence” from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, according to the Sun-Times.
“We have endured years of Black communities being demonized, while a system has snatched away our basic quality-of-life institutions — those institutions that most Chicagoans take for granted,” Jitu Brown, the director of Journey 4 Justice, told reporters outside Mercy Wednesday morning, the Sun-Times reports.
Black community leaders with the group Journey 4 Justice want the same for St. Anthony’s Hospital on the city’s West Side. The 151-bed hospital has not indicated plans to close.
Mr. Brown said Journey 4 Justice plans to submit a “quality-of-life plan” to the mayor’s and governor’s offices detailing needed healthcare, educational and economic investments in predominantly African American communities, according to the Sun-Times.
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