CHICAGO – In an effort to keep Westlake Hospital open to serve local residents, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, state Rep. Kathy Willis, D-Northlake, and members of the House Appropriations Human Services committee will examine the community impact of the potential closure at a hearing on Friday, March 8 at 10 a.m. in C-600 of the Bilandic Building.
“Closing this hospital will take away access to health care from a largely black and brown community,” Welch said. “This hearing gives us another opportunity to show how Westlake’s closure will reduce access to care for some of the most vulnerable residents in our area.”
Pipeline Health finalized the purchase of a three hospital system that included Westlake Hospital earlier this year. Recently, Pipeline Health made the decision to begin the process to close Westlake Hospital causing a major pushback from local officials and residents who felt blindsided by Pipeline’s decision to close Westlake. The prospect of closing any hospital in the system was not approached during the negotiations of the purchase of the healthcare system and Pipeline even pledged to turn around the financially struggling facilities.
The committee is inviting local elected officials, physicians and support staff at Westlake to testify at the hearing, as well as officials from Pipeline Health.
“When Pipeline purchased the hospital system including Westlake, closure was not an option,” Willis said. “It’s unconscionable that Pipeline is going back on the word they gave our community and taking health care away from our neighbors just to boost their own profits.”
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