ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara on Friday announced he has filed a formal request with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to hold a public hearing on Mercyhealth’s application to remove patient services from its Rockton Avenue campus.

In November, Mercyhealth announced it will discontinue providing inpatient medical and surgical services at its Rockton Avenue hospital, by January 12th, 2022.

The hospital will begin the transition in December.

In August 2020, Mercyhealth announced it would only be providing outpatient and clinic services at the West side location, at 2400 N. Rockton Avenue.

Mercyhealth said the move was necessary after decreased volume in its emergency departments, an increase in telemedicine, and lower surgery volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As Mercyhealth CEO, [Javon Bea] has disrespected the residents of the west side and systematically reduced services to fit his agenda from day one. He keeps saying he is investing in the west side, while he continues to cut critical services to some of the residents most in need. He can spin it any way he wants, but taking away a true emergency room and in-patient hospital care does not equal ‘improved patient care’ as claimed,” McNamara said at the time.

On Friday, McNamara issued a statement, “I have put in a formal request to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for a public hearing related to the application submitted by Javon Bea Hospital and Mercy Health Corporation to discontinue the 70-bed medical surgical category of service at Javon Bea Hospital- Rockton. I expect a hearing to be held sometime in January. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.”