Judge orders Westlake Hospital to remain open — for now

SHARE Judge orders Westlake Hospital to remain open — for now
westlakehospital.jpg

Supporters of Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park were expected to make a last-ditch effort Friday to keep the hospital open | via Facebook

Melrose Park’s last-ditch efforts to halt the closing of Westlake Hospital have worked, at least for now, thanks to a new temporary restraining order.

Village attorneys were in court Friday for a hearing on their new lawsuit, which seeks a review of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board’s decision to allow Westlake to close. The board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Pipeline Health’s application to close the hospital, at 1225 W. Lake St. in Melrose Park.

The village asked the court to put the board’s decision on hold pending judicial review.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Anna Loftus received the case documents only an hour before the hearing, and wanted more time to consider the facts before ruling.

Loftus issued a restraining order that will expire Tuesday, the day both sides will return to court. After the board voted Tuesday, Pipeline had begun winding down services at the facility; the restraining order will put a halt to that process.

Loftus is new to the Westlake controversy; the village and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx also are plaintiffs in a separate lawsuit accusing Pipeline of fraud; that lawsuit was filed in March.

“We will continue fighting Pipeline’s attempts to close Westlake Hospital,” said Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico in a statement. “We urge Pipeline to turn the hospital over to a receiver who can secure a buyer for Westlake Hospital.”

A community group, West Suburban Action Project, and village officials were concerned that without court intervention the hospital would have closed by Friday afternoon.

Ari Scharg, an attorney for Melrose Park, said Pipeline officials had “emailed all medical staff and told them that all patients must be transferred out by 4 p.m. because the hospital is closing.”

Manny Ramos is a corps member in Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster Sun-Times coverage of issues affecting Chicago’s South and West sides.

RELATED ARTICLES

Melrose Park plans to appeal state decision to OK Westlake Hospital closing

Westlake Hospital closing approved unanimously by state review board

New owner to close Westlake Hospital

View this document on Scribd

The Latest
The lawsuit accuses Chicago police of promoting “brutally violent, militarized policing tactics,” and argues that the five officers who stopped Reed “created an environment that directly resulted in his death.”
It would be at least a year before a ban goes into effect — but with likely court challenges, this could stretch even longer, perhaps years.
The USC quarterback, whom the Bears are expected to pick first in the NFL draft here on Thursday night, was clear that he’s prepared to play in cold temperatures in the NFL.
If presumed No. 1 pick Caleb Williams is as good as advertised, Chicago won’t know what to do with itself.
The Democratic president Wednesday reached the end of a long, painful battle with Republicans to secure urgently needed replenishment of aid for Ukraine.