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Community decries St. James’ closing

Caring for a mother who is diabetic and a son who is bipolar, Kristen Miller, a 47-year-old mother of three from Chicago Heights, relies on St. James Hospital, which has been a staple in the city for more than 100 years.

Concerns like hers over a controversial plan to shift some medical services — including emergency care — from the hospital in Chicago Heights to Franciscan St. James Health’s campus in Olympia Fields drew about 150 people to a meeting Saturday at Victory Apostolic Church in Matteson, where some protested, picketed and aired their concerns to hospital brass and elected officials.

Franciscan St. James Health announced the shift, which still needs state approval, last year. CEO Arnie Kimmel said it makes no fiscal sense to have two hospitals less than five miles apart, but Miller and others are worried about transportation, time and the quality of care…Please click here to read Steve Metsch’s story in the Tribune/Daily Southtown.

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