Healthcare Workers Along with South Suburban Communities Band Together in Grassroots Groundswell to Stand Up to Quorum Health’s Agenda that Would Shutoff Access to Healthcare and Emergency Services for Patients and Families
(September 18, 2019, Chicago)—SEIU hospital workers at MetroSouth Medical Center spearheaded and mobilized a robust grassroots coalition comprised of healthcare professionals, elected officials, and community and faith leaders across the south suburban region to successfully persuade the Illinois Health Facilities Review Board to postpone its decision about shutting down MetroSouth. The Review Board is expected to take up the issue at its next meeting on Tuesday, October 22nd.
The parent corporation, Quorum Health, was seeking approval from the State Review Board to close MetroSouth at the end of September.
Advocates demanded more time to find another buyer for MetroSouth and called on the Health Facilities Review Board to gather the facts and launch a thorough examination of Quorum’s public statements and actions to determine if they potentially violated the Review Board’s own guidelines and process around shutting the hospital down.
In response Anne Igoe, Vice-President of the Health Systems Division at SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana, who testified at the Review Board hearing, issued the following statement:
“The decision by the Illinois Health and Services Review Board to defer action on closing MetroSouth and keeping our community hospital open is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our SEIU hospital leaders. MetroSouth leaders refused to stand by and allow Quorum Health, the parent company, from steamrolling our workforce and the greater Blue Island community because of their corporate greed.
“We recognize and applaud the Review Board’s decision which stopped Quorum’s attempt to shut down MetroSouth within the next few weeks.
“The Board made the right call when so many questions are being raised about Quorum’s conduct. But our work isn’t finished as we fight to keep MetroSouth open and protect our patients and workforce from being harmed.
“Quorum’s entire strategy and position are based on greed. They clearly want to shut down our community hospital to appease investors and lessen its financial liabilities.
“This corporation simply does not care that patients and families would lose access to healthcare and vital emergency room services. They have zero concern about the enormous damage to the local economy and the loss of over 1,000 jobs, many of which make very low or poverty-level wages.
“We urge the Health Facilities Review Board to examine Quorum’s public statements and actions. Our workers and communities deserve greater transparency and accountability when the stakes are so high.
“Finally, Quorum’s actions and misplaced priorities do not occur in a vacuum. They demonstrate the perverse incentives, greed and extreme agenda of the hospital industry overall and why our lawmakers in Springfield must regulate this industry and hold hospitals to higher standards with real oversight.”