An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (IL only)

Save Mercy Hospital and Revive The South Side Transformation Plan

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Save Mercy Hospital and Revive The South Side Transformation Plan Chicago’s Mercy Hospital, which has served Chicago’s South Side community for almost the last 170 years, is set to close in 2021 due to our state’s inability to secure enough funding to keep Mercy, and several other South Side hospitals operating. In Spring 2020, The South Side Transformation Planpromised to merge four essential hospitals; Mercy, St. Bernard, South Shore and Advocate Trinity Hospital under one ownership group, according to the Chicago Sun Times. This plan would have effectively kept these hospitals running, and prevented hospital closures—an essential action in order to prevent contributing to the current ‘Health Care Desert’ that already exists on the South Side of Chicago. With the plan being abruptly scrapped, Mercy Hospital has already announced its plan for closure. It is only a matter of time before the other three hospitals servicing this underserved community risk dying alongside Mercy. And we know, the community need is there. The news of Mercy’s closure should not be an issue currently affecting the nearly 1.1 million Chicago residents in its service area. Additionally, with the majority of Mercy’s patients being African American residents of the South Side, the news comes as an extra hard blow. In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has proven to disproportionately affect Black people, closing Mercy Hospital is a grave injustice that increases the inequity of our health care system. Beyond COVID-19, “the South Side of Chicago suffers significantly higher rates of chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, breast cancers, STIs and HIV,” according to a 2019 study by UChicago Medicine. We also cannot leave out the necessary trauma services the hospital provides. We will NOT allow already disadvantaged residents of the South Side to suffer even more when Mercy Hospital shutters its doors. So today, I am calling upon you to revive The South Side Transformation Plan within State legislature, and work as hard as you can to secure the necessary funding needed to save Mercy Hospital. The proposed $110 million for 2021, and the $520 million over the next five years for the total four hospitals in the merger plan will allow for these hospitals to continue serving the very people most in need during this global pandemic, and into the future. We cannot sit by and watch as yet another South Side hospital plans to close. While more economically advantaged areas of the city receive wide and easy access to health care facilities, South Siders are being cruelly forgotten. I implore you today to do whatever it takes to keep these hospitals open, and in specific right now, save Mercy Hospital. Thank you.

First sent on August 19, 2020 by India

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