Monday, May 23, 2011

Oak Forest Scheduled to Close in One Week

Media Advisory May 24th event

Community Keeps Fighting to Stop Closure, SB40 Goes to Committee Wednesday

On May 24th, religious leaders, organized labor, nurses and patients will hold a press conference and vigil to call on County President Preckwinkle to stop the closure of Oak Forest hospital on May 31st.

What: Press conference and vigil
When: May 24, 2011, 12:00 (Noon) – 1:00 pm
Where: Oak Forest Hospital, 159th and Cicero, Oak Forest, IL 60452

Who: Citizen Action/IL, SEIU Doctors Council, SEIU HC, Religious leaders, patients, nurses, front line organizations.

Last week, President Preckwinkle decided to use all of her political resources to shutdown Oak Forest hospital by pushing SB40, which exempts the County from State oversight. Disregarding warnings from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board which released two reports highlighting the danger of closing the hospital and voted TWICE to deny Cook County’s plan to close in-patient services at Oak Forest hospital.

The County claims their plan will better serve the community, but the community, staff and Health Facilities Board warned that Southern Cook County is already facing capacity crunches for emergency and long term care. Ingalls, the key hospital in the County's plan, stated that it can not handle more patients.

The County claims that it can't afford to keep the hospital open, yet the County can afford tens of millions for consultants, and $168 million for more administrative offices at old-Stroger.

The County claims it is helping long-term care and rehab patients find alternative health care facilities, yet patients are on their own desperately trying to find alternative care before June1st.

Now, state and county officials claim the county doesn't need to provide services for the people of Cook County.

On May 24th, the community members at the front line of the battle to keep the hospital open will call on President Preckwinkle to halt the closure of the hospital on June 1st and modify her health system plan to better serve the families of Cook County.

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