mercy hosp 102220CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) was one of nearly a hundred witnesses to speak against the closure of Mercy Hospital during Tuesday’s Health and Facilities Review Board meeting. Hunter is pleased that after several hours of testimony, the board voted to reject the closure of Mercy Hospital.

“I am proud that there was an abundance of support from the community to keep Mercy open,” Hunter said. “For months, we have been calling for Mercy to stay open so that Bronzeville residents would have reliable care in the middle of this pandemic. I am so pleased the board voted in the community’s best interest.”

Since Trinity Health announced plans to close Mercy in July, health care advocates and community organizers have been protesting the closure, which would leave hundreds of Bronzeville residents in a health desert.

Black and Brown Chicagoans have suffered the most through the COVID-19 pandemic, and cannot afford to lose access to the safety net hospital. Should Mercy Hospital cease to operate, the next closest facilities – Northwestern Memorial Hospital, University of Illinois Hospital and Provident Hospital – would all be more than 3 miles away, which can be the difference between life and death in an emergency medical situation.

“At this point, it has become obvious that Trinity Health does not have our community’s best interests in mind, and has become a detriment to the fragile health of our constituents,” Hunter said. “We do not want Trinity at Mercy or anywhere in our community. We want Mercy Hospital to remain open but under new ownership and administration.”

Testimonies advocating against the closure included community leaders, unions, and elected officials.

A spokesperson for Mercy said it is committed to its transformation plans, which includes closing Mercy by next May. Mercy Hospital is expected to come before the board again in early 2021.