Peru Mayor, Senator Rezin speak out about St. Margaret’s-Peru closing

Continuing coverage of the impact of the LaSalle county rural hospital
They say regardless of how long the hospital remans close, they will not bring back the OB unit, leaving a gap in women's healthcare
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:55 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Peru Mayor Kenneth Kolowski says he found out about St. Margaret’s closing at the same as everybody else, Friday afternoon.

He’s spent hours on the phone with state lawmakers talking about options for both employees and patients who received care there.

Following the announcement of St. Margaret’s-Peru closing, Mayor Kenneth Kolowski says, this move is devasting and he is concerned for the health and safety of the people in LaSalle County, but his hands are tied.

“Honestly the City of Peru. We’re very limited on what we can and cannot do. There are limitations on what we can and cannot do,” says Mayor Kolowski

The Mayor says he spent Monday morning on a Zoom call with the CEO of the hospital and state lawmakers including State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris)

Rezin says they were working with the hospital to keep the doors open, “I was shocked. I had no idea. Springfield has been helping St. Margaret’s for the past two years through legislation specifically for St. Margaret’s hospital in Spring Valley and Peru to help them stay open because it’s vitally important we have coverage for healthcare in our area.”

Rezin says lawmakers were working to make sure rural hospitals like this one in her district didn’t meet this fate.

“We’ve been receiving phone calls that they’ve been delinquent on their bills. One, in particular, was the ER physician group who did not renew their contract and said that they are not going to provide services to cover the ER because they haven’t been paid. Which is very concerning for us. How many other vendors have not been paid?”

Rezin says she’s concerned not only for expectant mothers ...close to giving birth... but also those who will be out of a job come Saturday morning, “We’re very concerned about their employees. They need open and transparent communication from the hospital to make sure that they know what’s going on with their 401ks, with their insurance, and what job opportunities are available at their sister hospital in Spring Valley. There are so many questions.”

Mayor Kolowski concludes, “if there’s something we can do, we’ll do it. If it’s possible.”