The closure will include all operations – hospital, clinics and other facilities – at both St. Margaret’s-Spring Valley and St. Margaret’s-Peru.
“This is not the outcome any of us wanted and it is due to many circumstances beyond our control,” Tim Muntz, president and CEO, said in a memo dated June 9 to employees and staff.
St. Margaret’s had announced in mid-May a June 16 closure was imminent without emergency state funding. A state budget passed without any assistance for the hospital. The closure – combined with January’s closure of the Peru hospital – will leave western La Salle and eastern Bureau counties without an emergency room throughout the summer.
The administration and leadership did not feel confident that SMH would utilize state funding for payroll needs. This skepticism unfortunately appears to have been warranted after the advanced payment from OSF, which we were assured would be used for payroll, was used to pay off debts owed to their financial bank.— State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and state Rep. Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa)
A couple hours Friday after St. Margaret’s released its memo, state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, and state Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, released a joint statement, calling the announcement “extremely disappointing.”
“Since learning about the potential shutdown of the Spring Valley hospital, we have been working with the governor’s Administration and legislative leaders to secure state financial support for the duration of the ownership transfer of the Peru hospital,” the lawmakers said in their statement.
“However, during these discussions, the administration and leadership did not feel confident that SMH would utilize state funding for payroll needs. This skepticism unfortunately appears to have been warranted after the advanced payment from OSF, which we were assured would be used for payroll, was used to pay off debts owed to their financial bank.”
Rezin and Yednock said they feel for the employees, patients and community members who will now be forced to seek medical care and employment elsewhere.
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 was not part of the pending sale. As of Friday, OSF 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.
“Meanwhile, we will continue to do everything within our power to help assist and fast-track the purchase and reopening of the Peru hospital to ensure that our community will have access to quality healthcare,” the lawmakers said.
Spring Valley Mayor Melanie Malooley-Thompson called Friday’s announcement an “unfortunate outcome,” but otherwise stood behind previous statements she’d made about the hospital’s financial difficulties. She said at Monday’s City Council meeting Carle Clinic had showed interest in buying the Spring Valley hospital but decided against it.
Friday’s finalization of Spring Valley’s closure comes the same day the Hygienic Institute in La Salle closed, directing patients with financial need to Dr. Kara Fess in the lower level of 920 West St., across from the closed Peru facility. The Streator Medical Clinic, Henry Medical Clinic and La Salle Medical Clinic were among other St. Margaret’s closures.