The former Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru officially belongs to OSF HealthCare.
On Friday, OSF released a statement saying the asset purchase agreement of select real estate and personal property formerly owned by St. Margaret’s Health-Peru and St. Margaret’s Health-Spring Valley has been completed.
It’s a good step to getting a new normal.”— Bill Zens, executive director of the Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce
The properties include the former IVCH campus in Peru (925 West St.) and buildings for primary care in Spring Valley (415 E. Second St.) and Oglesby (790 W. Walnut St.).
No timeline was provided for when the OSF properties would be reopened.
“OSF HealthCare Mission Partners [employees] have been working hard behind the scenes, making the necessary on-site preparations to open soon,” OSF said in a statement. “Our goal has been and continues to be to preserve and sustain access to high-quality, local health care for the residents of the Illinois Valley as we begin this new chapter together.”
Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski on Friday said he “feels like a kid waiting for Christmas.”
“We’re pretty excited,” Kolowski said. “This is going to take more than weeks, but it’s a step.”
Kolowski said he had expected about a year without a hospital, a timeline that indeed is taking shape, but he’s excited about the opportunities ahead.
“We want this to be an opportunity to come back stronger and better,” he said. “A year from now, people will be thrilled with the direction this will take. We’re going to be so much better than we were.”
“It’s a good step to getting to a new normal,” said Bill Zens, executive director of the Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. “I’m happy to see what they’re going to bring.”
Zens said Friday’s news was the result of a group effort, with many hands working to reopen the Peru hospital.
A call to Spring Valley Mayor Melanie Malooley Thompson was not immediately returned.
Oglesby Mayor Jason Curran said he was told the opening would occur in stages and he has not yet been advised of an opening date.
“Hopefully, soon we will have a hard opening date,” Curran said, “and I’m excited to have health care back in our area.”
The Illinois Valley area has been without a nearby hospital since mid-June, when St. Margaret’s Health closed the Spring Valley hospital, which remains vacant. The former IVCH was closed in January after St. Margaret’s Health defaulted on payments to the physicians group that provided emergency services.
State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, and state Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, released a joint statement.
“Today’s announcement is a positive step in what has been a long and difficult road for our region,” the lawmakers said. “We are hopeful that the completion of this purchase agreement by OSF HealthCare will help ensure that the people of the Illinois Valley will once again have local access to quality health care and services that they rightfully deserve.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and offer OSF any state-level assistance that they may need to reopen services.”