St. Margaret’s Health will close several clinics by June 9 – including the Hygienic Institute in La Salle – and the Spring Valley hospital could close the following Friday, on June 16, without emergency state funding, possibly leaving western La Salle and eastern Bureau counties without an emergency room throughout the summer.
Tim Muntz, president and chief executive officer of St. Margaret’s Health, disclosed the hospital’s dire financial situation in an internal memorandum dated Wednesday that quickly went viral.
In it, Muntz said while St. Margaret’s Health-Peru (the former Illinois Valley Community Hospital) and assorted properties will be acquired by OSF HealthCare, the Spring Valley hospital is not part of the pending sale and “continues to be in severe financial distress.”
“St. Margaret’s has requested emergency funding from the state of Illinois,” Muntz wrote in the memo. “If we do not receive the funding, St. Margaret’s may need to consider curtailing hospital operations, or even closing, as early as Friday, June 16, 2023.”
As of Monday, OSF HealthCare has not filed with the Health Facilities and Services Review Board an application for change of ownership, a required step in acquiring the Peru hospital, and which would be followed by a 60- to 90-day completion period.
Based on that timeline, western La Salle and eastern Bureau counties could be without an emergency room from mid-June to possibly beyond Labor Day.
“On behalf of the city of Spring Valley the news of the potential closure of the St. Margaret’s SV hospital is a tragedy.”— Spring Valley Mayor Melanie Malooley Thompson
Calls to state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris), state Rep. Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa) were not immediately returned
“On behalf of the city of Spring Valley the news of the potential closure of the St. Margaret’s SV hospital is a tragedy,” Spring Valley Mayor Melanie Malooley Thompson said in a statement.
“It is disheartening to learn that they have been unsuccessful in finding a sustainability solution,” she said. “Our community and the uncertain employment of so many citizens is frightening. We can only hope that in time we will be made whole with employees being rehired and that our quality of medical care will be restored to what we have become accustomed to in the Illinois Valley for so many years.”
The fate of the Spring Valley hospital is uncertain, but Muntz also said four clinics would be closed regardless of whether Springfield allots emergency funding. Streator Medical Clinic, which is leased and not owned by St. Margaret’s, will be closed effective May 31. The La Salle Medical Clinic, Hygienic Institute and Henry Clinic will be closed Friday, June 9, and the properties will be sold.
“I regret that this information could not be shared with all of you sooner,” Muntz wrote at the conclusion of the two-page memo. “In the coming days, additional information will be forthcoming from OSF HealthCare regarding potential opportunities for future employment with OSF.”
Linda Burt, vice president of marketing and community services, told Shaw Local News Network she had nothing more to add to Muntz’s memo.