The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board ruled on four proposals for new hospitals in the Chicago suburbs, rejecting three projects worth a total of more than $600 million before approving a new, $152 million hospital in Bolingbrook for Adventist Health System Midwest Region. The six-hour meeting was the board's second since being reconfigured by Gov. Rod Blagojevich this past summer after alleged extortion and influence peddling by contractors and board members. The reconstituted board, down to five members from nine, rejected certificate-of-need requests from Advocate Health Care, Edward Health System and St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers, saying all three were strongly opposed by competing hospitals, community groups or unions.
"It's a certificate of need, not a certificate of convenience," said Glenn Poshard, the former U.S. representative named by Blagojevich to head the panel. Advocate and St. Francis officials said they would make second attempts at CON approval. At deadline, Edward Health officials could not be reached for comment. Adventist Midwest President and Chief Executive Officer Ernie Sadau said the system already operates an emergency-care center and medical office building on its Bolingbrook site. -- by Mark Taylor