We are hailing the victory of saving Mercy Hospital from closing! This is a tremendous victory in the long-term fight for vulnerable Chicago neighborhoods to have equitable access to healthcare, but our work is not over. Saving the hospital from closure and having a buyer step forward to run the hospital is just the beginning of the fight. Our diverse Chicago Health Equity Coalition (CHEC), made up of healthcare professionals, community organizations, labor unions and churches who have been fighting to save Mercy Hospital since the closure was announced in July 2020 developed a rubric and list of demands for assessing how the new owner, Insight Chicago, as they move forward.

CHEC is committed to ensuring that Mercy Hospital remains a full-service safety net and teaching hospital for generations to come. But Insight has no experience in operating a full-service hospital. That makes transparency, community oversight and participation in governance is more crucial. Community stakeholders must have equitable representation on the new board of directors with voting powers and a significant role in how the new owner operates Mercy Hospital in Bronzeville.

Our evaluation rubric includes expectations for:
1. restoring critical services, 2. governance, 3. financial stability, 4. transparency, 5. collective bargaining, 6. including employee retention and rehiring. Mercy Hospital is able to provide comprehensive health care for the long term. See the full rubric evaluation tool here

The Chicago Health Equity Coalition is made up of SEIU Health Care Illinois and Indiana, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Teamsters Local 743, Lugenia Burns Hope Center, National Nurses United, Mother’s Opposed to Violence Everywhere, Physicians for a National Health Plan, BYP100, SEIU Local 73, White Coats for Black Lives, People for Community Recovery and Mt. Carmel MB Church. 

CHEC’s goal is to stop the closure of hospitals in vulnerable communities on the South and West sides of Chicago and work to ensure that all Illinoisans have equitable access to health care. We must continue to work together to realize health equity in Chicago in our lifetime!