State board rejects plans to close Oak Forest Hospital

Decision forces delay, more details from Cook County

March 21, 2011

AP Wires

(WBEZ/File)

An Illinois board granted a reprieve to a hospital in south suburban Chicago at a meeting filled with chanting protesters.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board said Monday it intends to deny Cook County's plans for Oak Forest Hospital.

The county can submit more details in response, but that process will force a delay in the county's plans to end hospital services by June 1and turn the building into a primary care center.

Cook County Health spokesman Lucio Guerrero says county officials still want to convert the hospital into an outpatient clinic.

Chanting protesters temporarily shut down the meeting of the state board Monday.

Chicago resident Bonnie Blue was at the meeting and wants the hospital to keep operating. She says the board's decision is excellent news.