Chicago hospitals band together promising new system, $1B investment in city’s South Side

By | January 25, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • Four Chicago hospitals inked a nonbinding deal to form a new health system to expand access to care with the goal of reducing health inequities and creating jobs on the city’s South Side, the facilities announced Thursday.
  • They promised to invest at least $ 1.1 billion to build a hospital and community health centers. The new system will retain its own leadership team, CEO and board members, which will include a delegate from each of the four hospitals.
  • The hospitals are now calling on residents and community leaders to attend sessions to give their input on the needs of the area.

Dive Insight:

A few miles can drastically alter how long a Chicago resident is expected to live. In fact, the city had the largest gap in life expectancy across its neighborhoods compared to 500 other U.S. cities, according to a study from NYU School of Medicine.

Chicago residents on city’s north side are expected to live 30 years longer compared to those who live on the South Side, according to data from City Health Dashboard which was used in the NYU study. The area is also plagued by higher rates of chronic disease, food insecurity and trauma, the hospital leaders said Thursday.

The new integrated health system, which has yet to be named, plans to confront these issues head on by expanding quality primary and preventative care services. Community input sessions are expected to begin in February and will help inform future services including urgent care, ambulatory surgery, infusion therapy, behavioral health and imaging.

At the helm are four south Chicago hospitals — Advocate Trinity Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center (a member of Trinity Health), South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital. Once a definitive agreement is signed, which is expected to happen by midyear, a CEO and leadership team will be named.

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“This is the right thing to do for those we serve,” Rashard Johnson, president of Advocate Trinity Hospital, said in a statement. “We have a moral obligation to address health equity and that requires a transformational approach to how, when and where we deliver care.”

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