Mercy Hospital's bankruptcy filing disappoints community leaders

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's oldest hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mercy Hospital is planning to cease operations of all their departments other than basic emergency services May 31. The hospital is located in Bronzeville, a majority Black neighborhood.

"This is more of just structural racism and sabotaging the basic quality of life institutions that, again, most Chicagoans take for granted," said Jitu Brown, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization Board President.

State Representative Theresa Mah's district is just west of the hospital.

"A lot of my constituents from Chinatown, Pilsen and Bridgeport they rely on having access to health care at Mercy," Mah said.

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Mercy Hospital said in a statement: "We recognize the community's desire that Mercy should stay open, but Mercy has provided as much care as possible while incurring losses that no single entity can afford alone. The system of care for the underserved on Chicago's South Side is badly broken, and it is the system that must be fixed so patients can access the care they deserve."

The hospital is owned by Trinity Health. Just two weeks ago, a state board rejected their proposal to open an urgent care and diagnostic center on the South Side. The same board also rejected a plan in December to close Mercy.

Mercy is in the center of State Representative Lamont Robinson's district. He said it's disappointing that this is happening in the midst of a pandemic.

"Trinity with this closure is creating a very harmful environment. They are actually putting our community in harms way," Robinson said.

Robinson said the governor is looking at all options to keep Mercy Hospital open.
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