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MetroSouth Summit Draws 200 Ahead Of July 24 Public Hearing

Mayor’s Office, City of Blue Island
13051 Greenwood Ave.
Blue Island, IL 60406

Blue Island’s MetroSouth Summit Draws More Than 200 First Responders, Medical Professionals, Community Leaders & Residents

Blue Island, Illinois, July 15, 2019: A crowd of more than 200 gathered for the City of Blue Island’s MetroSouth Summit, held last Thursday at the City Hall East Annex. Hosted by Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas and staff, the Summit featured facilitators from the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and the City of Blue Island, who helped guide breakout discussions with First Responders, Medical Professionals, and Community Leaders about the impacts of the hospital’s announced intent to close, the resources needed to properly address those impacts, and the opportunities that exist to mitigate the impacts and provide ongoing healthcare for the community.

Community Leaders in attendance included concerned residents and business owners of Blue Island and neighboring communities, State Representatives Bob Rita and Will Davis, a representative for U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, Mayor Tyrone Ward of Robbins, Mayor Riley Rogers of Dolton, Thornton Village President Robert Kolosh, several Blue Island aldermen, representatives from local commissioner’s offices, and Pace, as well as representatives from offices of locally elected federal officials. The Summit was also attended by physicians, medical directors, and nurses currently employed at MetroSouth and other area hospitals, as well as First Responders from across the Southland.

After the breakout sessions, a representative from each group presented the results of their discussions.
The First Responder community utilized the session to plan a potential hospital closure should it occur, and what financial resources will be needed to service the area.

Representatives from the medical staff at MetroSouth provided data on the drive times to the nearest hospitals, the services provided at each, and the percentage of time those locations are on bypass or surge capacity.

Community Leaders echoed the impacts of the First Responders and Medical Professionals and discussed the necessity to retain time-critical care – for heart attacks, strokes, and high-risk pregnancies – along with jobs and dollars, in Blue Island, including the possibility of multiple providers.

A full report from the MetroSouth Summit will be presented at the public hearing with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on July 24 at St. Benedict Church. Mayor Vargas and State Representative Rita urged attendees to spread the word about the public hearing and petitions, and to sign up to speak at the public hearing.

Those interested in speaking on the importance of the hospital facility should email robertbobrita@aol.com with the subject line: “HOSPITAL,” and include their name, email, phone number, and the subject of their testimony.

About Blue Island
The City of Blue Island was settled in 1835, making it one of the oldest communities in Chicagoland. Today, the City of Blue Island is known for its historic neighborhood charm, blended business and recreational downtown district, comprehensive community and business development initiatives, and active, diverse and creative residents. For more information on upcoming events and all the latest news, www.blueisland.org.

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