ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara issued a statement Tuesday in response to the announcement that Mercyhealth would be discontinuing inpatient and surgical services at its Rockton Avenue hospital early next year.
”As I’m sure you have heard, Mercyhealth announced this morning that it is discontinuing all inpatient services at Javon Bea Hospital – Rockton Avenue campus. I think each and every resident of our community could see this day coming from the moment Mr. Bea came into town. As Mercyhealth CEO, he 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.
Mercyhealth is moving inpatient and emergency room services to its newer, Riverside campus.
“Given the severe nursing and health care staffing shortages right now, it doesn’t make sense to continue down our current course. Realigning services across our one hospital license, located between two campuses allows us to provide a more robust outpatient facility at Rockton and expand our inpatient campus at Riverside,” Mercyhealth President and CEO Javon Bea said in a statement Tuesday morning.
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.
The Rockton location will still provide outpatient services.
In 2015, when planning for the Riverside hospital was underway, Mercyhealth President and CEO Javon Bea said the Rockton hospital would keep its services.
In September of 2020, that changed when Bea announced that the company was removing services from the Rockton campus, saying the location was adding services including remodeled nursing units, a pharmacy, and a new cancer center.
In response, group of Mercyhealth emergency department employees wrote a letter encouraging Bea to sell the healthcare system.