Community members voice concerns about Mercyhealth changes

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The hospital has played a critical role in the community since its start. The loss of more services has people who live nearby voicing their concerns. Community members tell us the move is hurting the people the hospital is supposed to care for.

“It’s a wonderful place to grow up and have kids, but now it’s threatened that health care services are evaporating and at the expense of the taxpayer,” said Stanley Campbell, the director of Rockford Urban Ministries.

As Mercyhealth prepares to make significant changes to its Rockton Avenue campus, west side community members prepare statements of regret.

“When the ministers and clergy heard the administrator promise not to close, there were many of us who thought that they are lying through their teeth,” Campbell added.

Rockford Urban Ministries Director Stanley Campbell says the medical group’s choice to provide strictly outpatient care is a move he saw coming.

“It’s unfortunate that this greedy, almost racist attitude of the hospital will deprive good healthcare services for this section of the community,” Campbell said.

“We’ve become a great, diverse neighborhood. Lot’s of hispanic folks have moved into the area and are now a part of a pillar of what makes this neighborhood an exciting place to be,” said Rev. Denver Bitner of Northwest Neighborhors Inc.

Reverend Denver Bitner started his career at what now is Mercyhealth. he says residents on the Northwest side deserve transparency and open dialogue with the health system.

“They are a not for profit organization, they are here to serve the community. That’s part of their mandate and we would like to hear and be a part of the vision for what happens,” Rev. Bitner said.

“Let’s work together on this, not just being all of a sudden surprised that there goes another brick in the neighborhood,” Bitner concluded.

We did reach out to Mercyhealth for an interview about the consolidation announcement but they declined.

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