What’s next in St. Margaret’s-Peru closure? Officials outline 6 next steps

OB unit will close, many services move to Spring Valley

St. Margaret Hospital

St. Margaret’s Health announced Friday afternoon it was closing its Peru hospital, effective 7 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28.

The hospital will no longer have emergency room physician coverage. In order for a hospital to operate legally in Illinois, it must have an open and fully-staffed emergency room.

Tim Muntz, St. Margaret’s president and CEO, and Terry Judd, chairperson of the hospital board, sent a letter to employees and staff Friday outlining what’s next.

The officials said they will notify the Illinois Department of Public Health of the temporary closing of the Peru hospital.

Officials also said they will be contacting all scheduled St. Margaret’s-Peru patients and moving their appointments to St. Margaret’s-Spring Valley, which will remain open.

Peru hospital services providing ICU, med-surg/peds, all surgeries, emergency, lab, X-ray and other outpatient hospital services will move to Spring Valley.

Officials will notify EMS providers of the closing and direct all emergency transports to St. Margaret’s-Spring Valley, effective Thursday, Jan. 26.

Arrangements will be made for obstetrics deliveries to be provided at hospitals in Ottawa, Pontiac and Morris. The obstetrics unit is closing.

Officials said they will continue efforts to convert Peru to a Rural Emergency Hospital. The hope is to reopen it as a rural emergency hospital, a designation that opens St. Margaret’s to outside funds, but that requires regulatory changes by Springfield. Officials are encouraging residents to reach out to local legislators and ask for their assistance in the immediate adoption of rules pertaining to Regional Emergency Hospitals.

The officials said St. Margaret’s-Peru hospital employees should go to the job board and apply for open, posted positions.