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forum september 2019 issue

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Forum September 2019 issue (pdf)

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METRO SOUTH UPDATES

MetroSouth closing delayed

Metro South hospital will stay open longer than its owners had wanted after they failed to win approval from a state board on Tuesday.

MetroSouth Hospital in Blue Island already had told employees the facility would shut down Sept. 30, but it still needed the approval of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

Then on Monday, People’s Choice Hospital, a hospital management company that was a potential buyer, filed a complaint against Quorum Health — the parent company of MetroSouth — claiming Quorum engaged in bad-faith negotiation tactics before abruptly ending talks to sell the hospital in August.

That lawsuit was cited Tuesday during the board’s monthly meeting at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, and a motion to defer the vote was made.

After about 30 minutes of discussion, the motion to defer action was approved 5-1. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 22 — weeks after MetroSouth’s desired closing date.

Amanda Anderson, spokesperson for Quorum, had called the lawsuit “frivolous and without merit” on Monday and said People’s Choice “repeatedly misrepresented the facts regarding their discussions related to MetroSouth Medical Center.”

MetroSouth is one of two hospitals in the Chicagoland area that have sought to terminate services this year. Westlake Hospital, 1225 W. Lake St. in Melrose Park, is the other; it has been closed since August.

The village of Melrose Park also sued to force the board to defer its vote on Westlake in April, but regulators approved the closure anyway. The unanimous approval sparked several court appeals and even forced Gov. J.B. Pritzker to oust two newly appointed board members days later.

Lawsuits against Westlake’s owners are still ongoing.


Bus transportation to the Illinois Hospital Review Board Meeting on September 17, 2019, in Bolingbrook will be available and provided by ARH. For more information email info@blueislandforum.org


The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board is scheduled to take a vote on whether to close MetroSouth Hospital on Tuesday.

The fate of MetroSouth Medical Center could be decided Tuesday, but that decision may be postponed because of a new lawsuit filed against the hospital’s operators.

People’s Choice Hospital, a hospital management company that was a potential buyer, filed a complaint against Quorum Health — the parent company of MetroSouth — claiming Quorum engaged in bad-faith negotiation tactics before abruptly ending talks to sell the hospital in August.

Tennessee-based Quorum has denied these accusations in the past. Amanda Anderson, spokesperson for Quorum, said Monday, “The People’s Choice lawsuit is frivolous and without merit. The company has repeatedly misrepresented the facts regarding their discussions related to MetroSouth Medical Center. They are wasting the community of Blue Island’s time, and that of the courts, with these baseless allegations.”

The lawsuit was filed to “hold Quorum accountable” to finish the sale of the hospital, for alleged fraud and for breaching their initial contract. It also accuses Quorum of walking away from the sale because it stands to make $64 million if it liquidates its assets — far more than the $20 million price tag the two parties initially agreed on.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board will vote on the hospital’s future Tuesday during its monthly meeting at Bolingbrook Golf Club, 2001 Rodeo Drive, but this new lawsuit grants the board the ability to defer making a decision until after litigation is completed.

MetroSouth has already told employees the facility would shut down Sept. 30.

MetroSouth, 12935 S. Gregory St. in Blue Island, is one of two hospitals in the Chicagoland area that have sought to terminate services this year. Westlake Hospital, 1225 W. Lake St. in Melrose Park, is the other, which has been closed since August.

The village of Melrose Park also sued to force the board to defer its vote on Westlake in April, but regulators approved the closure anyway. The unanimous approval sparked several court appeals and even forced Gov. J.B. Pritzker to oust two newly appointed board members days later.

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Westchester, attorney Ari Scharg and state Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Northlake, outside a courtroom on April, 16, 2019.

For over six months, Ari Scharg, an attorney with Edelson PC, has fought against Westlake’s closure by filing lawsuits, seeking temporary restraining orders and challenging the facility’s operators legitimacy to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Lawsuits against Westlake’s owners are still ongoing.

Now, Scharg and a team of attorneys are hoping to disrupt MetroSouth’s closure in the same way and force Quorum Health back to the negotiating table.

“In a move that has become surprisingly commonplace in Illinois, an out-of-state for-profit company has decided to shutter a community hospital, leaving its patients and employees in the lurch,” the lawsuit reads. “Quorum’s scheme to close MetroSouth will deprive the residents of Blue Island and the neighboring communities of access to critical health care and rip away more than 800 jobs from the State of Illinois.”

Amanda Anderson, a spokesperson for Quorum, said earlier this month the deal fell apart because of People’s Choice Hospital’s unwillingness “to engage in customary negotiations or sign a binding agreement, combined with documented concerns of alleged fraud and mismanagement.”




METROSOUTH
METROSOUTH

ALDERMEN & WARDS

 

Dexter Johnson

1st Ward Alderman 2009 – Present

Finance Committee

Public Health & Safety Committee

djohnson@cityofblueisland.org

708-275-3961

Annette Alexander

1st Ward Alderman 2019 – Present

Finance Committee

Community Development Committee

aalexander@cityofblueisland.org

William Cazares

2nd Ward Alderman 2019 – Present

Community Development Committee

Public Health and Safety Committee

wcazares@cityofblueisland.org

708-256-6761

708-527-9368

Fred Bilotto

2nd Ward Alderman 2014 – Present

Community Development Committee, Chairman

Finance Committee

fbilotto@cityofblueisland.org

708-932-2907

Nancy Rita

3rd Ward Alderman 2011 – Present

Judiciary Committee, Chairman

Municipal Services Committee

nrita@cityofblueisland.org

708-385-2183

Kevin Donahue

3rd Ward Alderman 2013 – Present

Finance Committee, Chairman

Judiciary Committee

kdonahue@cityofblueisland.org

219-689-1582

Tom Hawley

4th Ward Alderman 2013 – Present

Mayor Pro-Tem

Community Development Committee

Judiciary Committee

thawley@cityofblueisland.org

708-612-5463

Bill Fahrenwald

4th Ward Alderman 2017 – present

Municipal Services Committee

Public Health and Safety Committee

bfahrenwald@cityofblueisland.org

708-528-0681

Mike Mech

5th Ward Alderman 2019 – present

Municipal Services Committee

Community Development Committee

mmech@cityofblueisland.org

773-816-9595

Johnny Hill

5th Ward Alderman 2019 – Present

Judiciary Committee

Public Health and Safety Committee

jhill@cityofblueisland.org

708-385-7438

Raeann Cantelo Zylman

6th Ward Alderman 2019 – Present

Community Development Committee

Judiciary Committee

rzylman@cityofblueisland.org

708-932-3868

Candace Carr

6th Ward Alderman 2013 – Present

Municipal Services Committee, Chairman

Public Health and Safety Committee

ccarr@cityofblueisland.org

708-653-6196

James Klinker

7th Ward Alderman 2019 – Present

Finance Committee

Public Health and Safety Committee

jklinker@cityofblueisland.org

708-935-9095

Alecia Slattery

7th Ward Alderman 2015 – Present

Public Health and Safety Committee, Chairman

Municipal Services Committee

aslattery@cityofblueisland.org

708-252-1720

BLUE ISLAND WARD MAP (pdf)

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