Chicago (CBS) — Weeks after a public feud between the Village of Melrose Park and the company buying Westlake Hospital there, the village fears the hospital will close its doors.
“It’s one of Melrose Park’s main hospitals, where first responders drop off victims of gunshot violence,” said Andrew Mack, a spokesman for the Village of Melrose Park. “It serves primarily low income black and brown residents.”
Mack says owners plan to announce the immediate closure of the hospital Tuesday. He says they filed a restraining order Monday against a half dozen, including the facility’s new owner, Pipeline Health System, to prevent its doors from closing.
Mack claims ownership is slowly laying off workers, not accepting new patients, and selling off equipment in an effort to skirt laws requiring approval before a hospital closes.
Mary Wilson’s mother gets physical therapy at the hospital. She’s not sure where she’d go if it’s no longer an option.
Mack says additional minutes for stroke or gunshot victims could prove fatal. He says Pipeline Health told the village multiple times they’d keep the hospital open.
In a news conference last month, community leaders made the village’s concerns public.
About 600 workers could be impacted, from nurses to security guards.
CBS 2’s request to Pipeline Health System for comment was not returned.
A judge is expected to consider the restraining order Tuesday at 9 a.m.