Access Living’s building is closed. Staff is working from home until further notice. Learn more here.

Action Alert: Help Fight to Save Mercy Hospital

 

December 9, 2020 | by Emma Olson

Help Save Mercy Hospital in Chicago’s Bronzeville Neighborhood

This week, Chicago activists are stepping up the fight to save Mercy Hospital, a social safety net hospital located in the Bronzeville neighborhood serving primarily Black patients.

The pushback is being led by Black community leaders, including groups such as the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) and legislative leaders such as State Representative Lamont J. Robinson, whose 5th District includes both Mercy Hospital and Access Living. Over the years, Mercy has been increasingly subject to closure due to lack of state funds to keep the hospital going. Advocates, including Access Living community members, are deeply concerned about the potential creation of a healthcare desert on the Near South Side.

On December 15, the Illinois Health Facilities Services and Review Board is expected to consider and vote on the closure of Mercy Hospital. Ahead of the vote, activists are working hard to gain public support for funding to keep the hospital open. This past Monday, activists blocked streets outside the Thompson Center to call attention to the issue. Governor Pritzker’s office expressed that they are willing to work with Mercy’s operators to keep the hospital open. Yesterday, activists held a sit in at Loyola Hospital, which is also owned by Trinity Healthcare, the operator of Mercy Hospital. Today at Mercy Hospital itself, Access Living representatives are joining a prayer vigil led by church leaders and medical staff to draw attention to Trinity’s moral obligation to the community.

Here’s how you can help save Mercy Hospital

Make phone calls, spread the word:

For those wishing to take action by phone or social media, activists are ask people to call Governor Pritzker at 312-814-2121 to express your support for keeping Mercy Hospital open. Social media activists are encouraged to post your support on your social media accounts using the hashtag #SaveMercy. Raise the concern that Black communities are already facing healthcare disparities that have only gotten worse during the pandemic.

Take action in person:

For those who choose to take action in person, there are two more events this week. Please be sure to wear a mask and stay socially distanced.

  • December 10th at 11 am, there will be a press conference at Provident Hospital. Speakers will highlight what happens to a community when you defund a critical access hospital. The address is 500 E 51st St in Chicago. On Friday,
  • On Friday, December 11, activists will hold another press conference at 4pm at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to deliver a community Covid-19 report. Speakers will highlight the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the Southside communities, and how the closure of Mercy will only worsen health outcomes for those in these communities. The address for this event is 100 W. Randolph in Chicago. This event begins at 4pm.

Access Living’s support so far…

Our community organizing group the Task Force for Attendant Services has been closely following and supporting the fight to save Mercy Hospital. Check out this interview about Mercy Hospital with disability activists by Chicago ADAPT Productions. If you would like to help Access Living work to support saving Mercy Hospital, please contact our Healthcare/Home and Community Based Services Community Organizer Ryan McGraw at rmcgraw@accessliving.org.

Please share this email and help support Chicago’s Black-led community activism to save Mercy Hospital!