Chicago, IL – Four South Chicago hospitals – Advocate Trinity Hospital, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center (a member of Trinity Health), South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital – announced today that they have signed a nonbinding agreement to offer bold solutions that create a new health care delivery system. The system will expand access to preventive care and quality services, reduce drastic health inequities and provide economic development, jobs and training programs in the region.
The providers are calling on neighborhood leaders and area residents to participate in a series of community input sessions to help shape robust solutions tailored specifically to the local community's needs.
Despite state effort and local community investment, health inequities persist in this region. Significantly lower life expectancy, higher incidences of chronic disease and other disparities are aggravated by social determinants of health including food insecurity, housing and trauma. The four providers said addressing these inequities was a key driver for the need to develop a progressive, patient-centered approach and transformative model.
“Significant challenges require all stakeholders to be at the table and be part of the solution,” said Carol Schneider, president, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, a member of Trinity Health. “We have a unique opportunity to come together around a common vision to serve patients in a better way that strengthens our communities.”
“Working individually, our hospitals will not be able to provide sustained, quality care on the South Side,” said Charles Holland, president and chief executive officer of St. Bernard Hospital. “We have to aggressively address the need for better health care among tens of thousands of Chicagoans. By forging a system that can better respond to and manage the chronic illnesses that are so pervasive in our communities, we can truly achieve greater health equity and narrow significant disparities in access to quality care and the resulting outcomes.”
The goal of the new system is to combine the four hospitals into an independent, integrated health care system that will transform care delivery for area residents through a multi-year investment plan. After analyzing community health needs assessments and service area and demographic data, the four providers arrived at two primary needs–expand access to quality primary and preventive care services by constructing vibrant community health centers, and build at least one new, state-of-the-art, destination hospital, thereby replacing outmoded, aging facilities. The estimated capital investment to achieve these goals is $1.1 billion.
Community input will help shape future hospital services, and the expansion of urgent care, ambulatory surgery, infusion therapy and behavioral health services at new community health centers, as well as specialty care, imaging and diagnostic services. Stakeholder outreach has already begun, and community input sessions will begin in February.
The group is committed to ensuring new facilities open before any existing facilities close, a net increase in jobs in the region, and re-deployment and re-training programs that are reflective of the growing health care jobs of the future. They will seek significant private philanthropic involvement to support the new system and help achieve health equity for these affected communities.
“This is the right thing to do for those we serve,” said Rashard Johnson, president of Advocate Trinity Hospital. “We have a moral obligation to address health equity and that requires a transformational approach to how, when and where we deliver care.”
Under the agreement, each provider will contribute or transfer existing hospital assets to and help capitalize the new system. The new system will have independent leadership and an independent board of directors, which will include a delegate from each of the providers. A CEO and leadership team will be named following the signing of a definitive agreement, expected by midyear.
“We look forward to input from our patients and communities,” said Tim Caveney, president and chief executive officer of South Shore Hospital. “Empowering our neighborhoods, improving access to care and making critical economic investments is what's right for the South Side of Chicago and what's necessary for our long-term health and wellness.”
About Advocate Trinity Hospital
Advocate Trinity Hospital, a designated Primary Stroke Center, has provided high-quality, compassionate care to the residents of Chicago’s Southeast Side for more than 120 years. Our board-certified physicians have expertise in more than 50 subspecialties, including advanced heart attack and stroke care, advanced levels of treatment in surgery, and a limb salvage program that serves as a model for other health care providers. Our Emergency Department team care model and triage delivery system minimize wait time and enhance care coordination, while our multi-disciplinary approach to in-patient care optimizes discharge planning and bedside engagement between providers, patients and family members.
About Mercy Hospital & Medical Center
Mercy Hospital & Medical Center is a member of Trinity Health. As Chicago’s first teaching hospital, Mercy has served Chicago for over 165 years, leading the way with innovative technology and healthcare delivery models. Mercy, which has over 500 primary care and specialist providers and 1,540 colleagues, is a provider of comprehensive healthcare services. Its network includes the 402-licensed-bed Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, 2525 S. Michigan Avenue, 7 ambulatory care facilities, MercyWorks occupational health program and two school-based health centers in Wendell Phillips and Paul Laurence Dunbar Career Academies. Learn more about Mercy, visit mercy-chicago.org.
About South Shore Hospital
South Shore Hospital is an independent hospital providing General Acute Care, Geriatric Psych and Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehab Services for the southeast side of Chicago for over 107 years. South Shore has over 100 primary care and specialist providers and 350 employees focused on providing the safest, highest quality healthcare experience possible, irrespective of one's ability to pay. Our not-for-profit community organization includes a 136 staffed bed hospital and 5 ambulatory care clinics. To learn more about South Shore Hospital visit southshorehospital.com.
About St. Bernard Hospital
Opened in 1904, St. Bernard Hospital continues to be a beacon of quality healthcare in Chicago’s Englewood community. Founded by sisters from the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, St. Bernard is currently sponsored by Catholic Health International, which sponsors 40 facilities in the United States and Canada. St. Bernard has more than 800 employees and 150 physicians, and it provides extensive healthcare services to adults and children through a 196-bed hospital and its modern Ambulatory Care Center. The network offers a range of specialty services focused on wellness and prevention. To learn more, visit our website at www.stbh.org.