State board approves sale of Weiss Memorial Hospital, West Suburban Medical Center
Sitting members on the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the sale 6-0, paving the way for the $92 million deal to finalize over the next few weeks.
The sale of Weiss Memorial Hospital in Uptown and West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park cleared a major hurdle this week after a state review board approved the $92 million transaction.
The two hospitals were purchased three years ago by California-based Pipeline Health as part of a package deal and announced its plans to sell them to Michigan-based Resilience Healthcare in March.
Sitting members on the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the sale 6-0 with three other board members not present for the vote. This paves the way for the sale to finalize, which is expected to happen over the next several weeks.
“It is clear to me that successful turnaround of these hospitals requires full time boots on the ground local system leadership,” Nick Orzano, founder and board member of Pipeline, said in a statement. “At the same time, these hospitals need strong public funding support to thrive — and this public funding can be maximized in Illinois only by an owner whom elected officials embrace.”
The newly created Resilience Healthcare is led by Manoj Prasad, a health care executive, with New Jersey-based businessman Rathnakar Patlola as a financial partner in Resilience.
“Rathnakar and I are very pleased that the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved our applications,” Prasad said in a statement. “We are excited to provide healthcare services to the communities served by West Suburban Medical Center and Weiss Hospital.”
Pipeline said it has made “significant investments” in the hospitals, which total $60 million. It also previously said it would refund $12 million to Resilience Healthcare from a separate deal to sell a parking lot at Weiss Memorial.
Irene Dumanis, CEO for Weiss Memorial, applauded the approval, saying the sale will only improve the quality of care the hospital provides.
“The two hospitals are in better shape now than when the previous Pipeline leadership team took ownership in 2019,” Dumanis said in a statement. “We are ready to move forward at Weiss as we celebrate the hospital’s 70th anniversary this summer.”
In 2019, Pipeline bought the hospitals in a package deal that included Weiss Memorial, West Suburban and Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park for $70 million from Tenet Healthcare.
The group quickly fell out of favor with residents and political leaders after announcing it would close Westlake despite promising to help improve the safety-net hospital’s services.
The looming closure sparked months of protests and a bitter legal battle between the village of Melrose Park and Pipeline. Several state leaders also got involved in the fight.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker ousted two state board appointees after it unanimously approved the closure of the hospital. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx joined the legal battle to keep the hospital open. Then former employees of Westlake filed a lawsuit against Pipeline, alleging the former owners violated U.S. labor laws.
Ultimately the fight was lost as Westlake filed for bankruptcy, saying it was losing nearly $3 million a month, which provided a pathway to closure.
The closure also helped create a new law that would make it easier for hospitals like Westlake to reopen.