Dispute over Bethany Hospital

April 20, 2006

"Advocate Health Care is embroiled in a dispute involving two of its hospitals, one in a suburb and another in Chicago.

Ministers and community residents oppose cuts to Bethany Hospital on the city's West Side.

Now they've filed suit to stop a $239 million expansion of Advocates' Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

Area resident Emily Carter hopes disrupting Lutheran General's expansion will stave off changes at Bethany.

Carter says, ""We had to do this lawsuit in order to get their attention and say, 'Guys, we're not just going to sit back while you treat our community in a way that is not humane.' They're a faith-based organization, yet we see them going in a way that doesn't look faith-based to us.""

Advocate wants to turn Bethany Hospital into a long-term care facility.

That would mean cutting the hospital's emergency room, OBGYN and mental health departments.

A spokesperson for Advocate says its lawyers are reviewing the suit.

She says the area near Bethany needs a long-term care facility."