ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — After hearing from concerned residents at a public meeting on Wednesday, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board has set a date to determine whether it will allow Mercyhealth to discontinue in-patient services at its Rockton Avenue hospital.

The vote is scheduled for March 15.

The board will still take written comments from the public until February 23rd.

“I am not naïve. I know that it’s fairly easy for a hospital to close under the current state rules. However, I hope that the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board listened to the residents most impacted by this closure. I hope they heard that some of our community’s most vulnerable have been harmed the most by the systematically reduced of services on the west side,” says Mayor Tom McNamara. “It’s never too late to do the right thing. I urge the Mercy Board and the Review Board to keep the west-side hospital open.”

Mercyhealth administrators and employees made their case for change during a public hearing on Wednesday, while others warned that Westside residents will be left with fewer services. Administrators said that city-funded drainage improvements would change their plans, but city leaders said that the hospital is asking for too much.