Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Need" Hearing, May Deadline Set For Huntley Hospital

May 10 is the tentative date for the Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board to rule on a proposed new 128-bed Centegra hospital for Huntley.  Meanwhile the Illinois Health Department this week set Feb. 16 as the date for a public hearing in Huntley about whether anyone needs it.

Centegra asked for the hearing last week. CEO Michael Eesley said in a news release, “We want to give our many supporters the opportunity to learn more about our plans and to share their enthusiasm.”  However, one Huntley official observed Friday, "This isn't a 'Rah,Rah' meeting.  It's part of an official medical process."

IDPH's meeting notice specifies that "all allegations or assertions should be relevant to the need for the proposed project." It also asks for "documentation or materials" to support comments, two copies, on 8 1/2 by 11 paper.  A Centegra release Friday about the meeting mentions the hospital's "many positive impacts on the local economy" but those don't have anything to do with the medical need for the facility.

Eesley called the southeastern corner of McHenry County medically underserved.  "In fact, state data shows that because of population growth, this region is one of the few areas in Illinois that is in need of inpatient beds,” he said.  He pointed in particular to nearby Sun City as "a portion of the population that could greatly benefit from it."

That might be the kind of edge Centegra needs since the Review Board, in effect, has to decide not only if the area needs a hospital but where one ought to be built if it does.  Mercy Health Systems proposed a near-identical hospital in Crystal Lake the same week Centegra asked for permission to put its facility in Huntley.  So far, Mercy hasn't asked for a public hearing.

The one on Centegra's proposal will be Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 10 am in the Huntley Village Board Room.

Centrgra's added links on its Huntley Hospital website to sign support petitions, comment on the project or write a letter of support.  You can find them here:

http://centegrahospitalhuntley.org/

In the pic:  What Centegra would like to build in the cornfield at Reed and Haligus roads.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Thank you Centrgra for asking for the public hearing. Clearly, you folks have nothing to hide and, if nothing else, this open dialogue will convince the decision makers beyond a shadow of a doubt that yours is a much stronger option that will best serve the public good.