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Southland mayors criticize hospital plan, official agrees to meetings

The president of Franciscan St. James Health has agreed to meet with residents in south suburban communities most affected by the proposed closing of the Chicago Heights hospital “as long as they (the meetings) happen quickly.”

Speaking in Steger, President Arnie Kimmel said the faith-based health network, which operates hospitals in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields, intends to file a certificate of need (CON) with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board in February.

“We have a timetable,” he said as he accepted Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez’ invitation on behalf of Gonzalez’ task force and an audience of approximately 450 residents.

Gonzalez, who originally supported the reorganization and consolidation plan, began generating opposition after learning it had been revised to relocate obstetrics, the emergency room and other services from Chicago Heights to the Olympia Fields facility…Please click here to read Dennis Sillivan’s story in the Tribune/Daily Southtown.

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