Gang members and community activists are flocking to save a South Side hospital who says it could be forced to close due to lack of funds.
Roseland Community Hospital received notice that it must begin moving patients within the next three days after the hospital was told it may be closing due to increasing debt, officials said.
The Far South Side hospital reported a $2 million deficit at the end of the 2011 fiscal year and faces closure as they prepare to move their patients.
Hospital officials said they were expecting the state to repay them what they claim they are owed, and that they are devastated by the moving notice.
“I’ve seen this hospital do a lot for this community,” said hospital employee Paulette Perry. “I love my job.”
Community members, workers and union leaders protested the closure last week and rallied again Monday, saying Roseland is the only hospital within an eight-mile radius, and is a lifeline to the South Side community members.
“If there’s nothing here at all, period, then where are they going to go? Just lie in the street and die?” one protester said.
Gang members are also reportedly flocking to the hospital’s aid, saying they deserve a chance to be saved. They have vowed to join peace protests, the hospital said Tuesday. The Roseland Coalition, a community group, said closing the hospital would put nearly 50,000 people in the community at risk and 600 employees could lose their jobs. The hospital let go 60 workers two weeks ago due to the lack of funding and activists are calling on Governor Quinn to use emergency funds to save the center.
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