Public hearing set on new Oak Forest Hospital plan

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A public hearing is planned on Cook County’s revised proposal to close a charity hospital in Chicago’s southern suburbs and convert it to an outpatient care center.

OAK FOREST, Ill. (AP) — A public hearing is planned on Cook County’s revised proposal to close a charity hospital in Chicago’s southern suburbs and convert it to an outpatient care center.

The Illinois health planning board is holding the hearing Thursday at 10 a.m. at Oak Forest City Hall. The board has tentatively scheduled a decision on the hospital closure for Aug. 16.

The board denied the county’s first request to close the 213-bed hospital. But the county is trying again with a 24-hour immediate care center in the plan, rather than one with shorter hours.

Nurses, doctors and patients plan to testify at Thursday’s hearing. County health officials also are expected to speak.

County officials hope closing the hospital will save money. Oak Forest Hospital continues to operate, but with stripped-down services.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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