Sunday, June 16, 2024

Ottawa Chamber opposes OSF plan

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The Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce joined the Ottawa City Council on Thursday in voicing its opposition to OSF HealthCare’s plan for reducing and eliminating certain services it has traditionally offered at OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa.

The chamber’s Board of Directors adopted the resolution Wednesday by unanimous vote with two abstentions – less than 24 hours after the city approved its own resolution of opposition.

In a Thursday news release, the chamber said it “would normally celebrate and support the construction of a new hospital in Ottawa, there has been tremendous concern about the diminished services in Ottawa as proposed by the OSF plan.”

OSF Healthcare announced on March 7 its intention to building a new $180 million hospital. However, in that same announcement, it indicated it would be making the newly reopened Peru hospital its hub in the Interstate 80 corridor and that some of the services in Ottawa would be sent there, inpatient obstetric care, birthing rooms and intensive care units.

Cited as the Chamber’s reasons for the opposition were the reduction of medical and surgical beds from its current 23 to 12, the loss of services such as inpatient intensive care and the loss of inpatient obstetric care and birthing rooms. The Chamber also pointed out the resulting strain it would put on emergency medical and transport services with longer transportation times for the Ottawa citizens and the Ottawa Fire Department staff.

Those moves, the resolution said, would “negatively affect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Ottawa.”

“The Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce strongly urges OSF HealthCare to reconsider their proposed plan,” the statement said, “and respectfully requests that OSF provides the Ottawa area with the full-service hospital it deserves.”

The resolution will be placed on file with the city of Ottawa and other governmental agencies.

Both resolutions will be passed along to the Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board when it takes public comment on June 13 at Central School, 711 E. McKinley Road, in Ottawa.

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