ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Despite community misgivings at public hearings held on September 3rd, Mercyhealth’s decision to shut down inpatient mental health treatment services at its Rockton campus has been finalized by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
Fifteen city and county leaders objected to the decision in a letter earlier this month.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Dorsey, of Mercyhealth sent out a statement Tuesday afternoon.
Today, Mercyhealth received approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (5 yes -1 abstained) to discontinue behavioral health inpatient services. Although it was a very difficult decision for Mercyhealth to make, we are fully committed to continuing to offer our outpatient clinical and enhanced telemedicine behavioral health services in Rockford as to further work with existing organizations such as Roscrance and Remedies. Through our emergency departments at both the Rockton and Riverside campuses, psychiatric assessors will continue to work with telehealth board-certified psychiatrists to help patients access the appropriate medical treatment to meet their needs.”-Dr. John Dorsey, Chief Medical Officer, Mercyhealth
Community concern that Mercyhealth plans to close the Rockton Campus has been unwarranted, according to Mercyhealth President and CEO Javon Bea. Bea pointed to a multi-million dollar investment in the Rockton Avenue facility, which includes remodeled nursing units, a pharmacy, and a new cancer center as proof.
Bea claimed there’s a bigger threat to the fate of the Rockton campus: Mother Nature. Two years ago, the hospital flooded, forcing it to turn away patients. Bea said the threat of future flooding is still there and has called on the City to take action.
“The only thing thing that can threaten this hospital is not anything with Mercyhealth. The only thing is if the Mayor continues to refuse to spend a few hundred thousand dollars, to get a bond to put the box culvert in,” he explained back on September 2nd.
Advocacy group NAMI also issued a statement on Tuesday:
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