A Chicago hospital has notified state regulators of plans to close by year-end, citing insurmountable financial hardship and its landlords intention to sell the property near Lake Michigan for use in the citys 2016 Olympics bid.
In a letter to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, a lawyer representing 364-bed Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center writes that the hospital has been under financial stress for some time and it appears unlikely that the hospital will be able to increase its revenues sufficiently. Michael Reese was founded in 1881, according to its Web site, and since 1998 has been owned by for-profit Envision Hospital Corp., Scottsdale, Ariz. The property is owned by Medline Industries, a Mundelein, Ill.-based medical supply company.
The letter states that Medline notified Michael Reese that it will likely elect to terminate the hospitals lease for the campus between Sept. 30 and Dec. 31 in order to sell the property to the citys Olympics committee. An application to be filed in the next 60 days will seek a permit to close the facility within that window, according to the letter. Medline spokesman Jerrau Beaudoin said the conclusion about the lease is just speculation on their part and declined to comment further. Speaking for Envision, Chicago lawyer Edward Green, of the firm Foley & Lardner, said that the hospital's financial failure alone demands closure by year-end, while early termination of the lease would only affect the timing. -- by Gregg Blesch