Sunday, February 17, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Members of PASO – West Suburban Action Project, which is planning to protest the impending closure of Westlake Hospital on Feb. 18. | File
A coalition of community leaders is planning to protest the impending closure of Westlake Hospital, 1225 W. Lake Street in Melrose Park, at 9:15 a.m. on Feb. 18. The demonstration will take place in front of the hospital.
Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico announced on Feb. 15 that the hospital’s new owner, Pipeline Health, had told him and other lawmakers that his company plans to close Westlake just a month after.
Less than a month ago, Whitaker told Crain’s that Pipeline was attracted to Westlake, one of three community hospitals the company purchased last month, because Westlake “really believed in putting community first. They believe in quality care.
“They believe in being the lowest cost provider. And so all of these things I think are important in hospitals because I think there are one-off community hospitals in danger all over this country.”
Along with Serpico, state Representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Kathleen Willis denounced Pipeline’s plans to close Westlake, which employs around 800 people, according to Serpico.
In a statement, PASO – West Suburban Action Project, a Melrose Park-based immigrant advocacy organization, said that Westlake “is an essential resource for health and mental health services in Melrose Park and the West Cook suburbs.
“Closing the hospital will be detrimental to under resourced communities who rely on life-saving health care services from this trusted source. Community members and organizations, institutions of faith, and government officials stand together demanding that Westlake Hospital remain open and that Pipeline Health, the new owner of Westlake Hospital, who assured the community that it would keep it open, follows through on its promise.”
Monday’s press conference will include a number of community organizations and lawmakers, including:
- PASO – West Suburban Action Project
- Community Alliance of Melrose Park
- Sarah’s Inn
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church,
- Rep. Kathleen Willis
- Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch
- State Sen. Don Harmon (invited)
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