Group launches effort to keep hospital open

April 8, 2008 2:58:25 PM PDT
Some community leaders have launched a new effort to keep Saint Francis Hospital from closing.

The Blue Island Hospital has been providing care for more than 100 years. It has lost millions of dollars and officials say they're having trouble selling the facility. More than 1,400 employees will lose their jobs.

Tuesday, leaders urged the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board to take more time to decide whether to close the hospital. The group is also asking hospital officials to meet with local congressmen and explore potential buyers a bit further.

"This healthcare center has been the core of this community. By losing that, we lose a fingerhold to the strength and vitality of, not only our community, but the area," said Mayor Donald Peloquin, Blue Island.

The state has to approve the hospital's closure. That is expected take at least four months.

A spokesman for Saint Francis Hospital says it would be happy to talk with anyone interested in buying the hospital.


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