Save Mercy Hospital and Medical Center

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Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, IL is impending closure due to recent financial difficulties compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. A closure of this nature means 1.1 million people stand to lose access to medical care. The announcement of the closure was very abrupt and unexpected, and the news has been met with much grief from staff and the community. 

Mercy has a rich history with both the city of Chicago and the greater medical community. It was the first chartered hospital in Chicago (1852). It was a safe haven for the patients during the Chicago fire of 1871. It treated President Roosevelt after he was shot during an assassination attempt. It is also where Dr. Murphy discovered a famous physical exam finding, coined "Murphy's sign," that is taught to every physician, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant around the world.

Mercy is the only teaching hospital on the eastern shore between Northwestern Memorial and University of Chicago, an area comprising approximately 160 city blocks. It is a STEMI receiving center and a primary stroke center that provides a variety of services including inpatient and outpatient behavioral services, a cancer program, a family birth center, and a diabetes treatment center. Mercy has served as a safety-net hospital for many people living in Chicago’s Near Southside. Mercy’s service area includes 62% of Chicago’s African American population, 36% of Chicago’s Asian population, and 37% of Chicago’s Hispanic/Latinx population. The service area also includes about 55% of people living in poverty in Chicago. Consequently, the closure of Mercy will form a healthcare desert which risks expanding to engulf other south side hospitals if it is allowed to proceed.

Closing Mercy Hospital and Medical Center would be an act of violence against an already vulnerable community. To do so midst a global pandemic could have unpredictable consequences and gravely impact the health of the people in Chicago. Political leaders of the city of Chicago and greater Illinois need to know that this is occurring in order to help stop this heinous act. Please help us save Mercy Hospital!