CHICAGO (CBS) — State lawmakers, community groups and hospital staff are rallying to keep Mercy Hospital in Bronzeville open.

The announcement of Mercy Hospital’s impending closure next year seemed to come out of the blue. Supporters said without Mercy, about 50,000 patients would have to travel three miles to get to the nearest healthcare facility.

And a shutdown would leave about 1,700 people out of work.

An online petition to save Mercy Hospital has collected more than 4,000 signatures since it started on Sunday.