At first, I thought of using the word Uncle Tom, but another term quickly came to mind: sellout.

Perhaps that is too nice of a word to describe Loretto Hospital. I’m not surprised Loretto hospital sold out the Austin community yet again. This is not the first, second or third time Loretto displayed shady practices in the Austin community.  

A report published in 2015 by the Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission detailed numerous violations at the West Side hospital throughout the years.

Ladies and gentlemen history is repeating itself and it must stop! Can we call a spade a spade?

We all know that, regarding the vaccine, Loretto Hospital took food off the tables of Austin residents. Loretto hospital executives, city officials, clergy and politicians knew the federal government said those vaccines were intended for Austin residents only. That was reported by media outlets everywhere in Chicago.

The federal government did not say it’s time for “The Price is Right!” or “Let’s Make a  Deal!” with a vaccine meant for Austin residents. Loretto officials only claim to care for our community, but in reality, they don’t care about us. They only care about money. 

Did you know the Austin Chamber of Commerce is a community liaison of Loretto Hospital? As my mind pondered over the word commerce, I had to refresh my memory of the meaning of the word. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, commerce is “the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place.”

This is interesting because that is what Loretto Hospital did with our vaccines. The Austin Chamber of Commerce might say it’s an organization designed to assist existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Austin community while lowering the unemployment rate. 

Austin has one of the cities highest unemployment rates. According to 2019 CMAP data, Austin’s unemployment rate was 15.4 percent and 44.6 percent of residents were not listed in the workforce. 

We have been doing this song and dance for a minute with Loretto and politicians who protect them and turn a blind eye to unethical behavior and questionable practices. For example, Loretto has hired past directors who didn’t live in the Austin community and didn’t understand our community and how it works.

I have a few questions for the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Where is your business plan to further enhance the Austin business community? How can you give advice, vision or direction to business leaders in Austin when you do not have your own stuff together? Again, the Loretto Hospital way! 

Loretto Hospital is a hospital where sick people don’t want to go. The stories about it are endless, earning it the nickname “Death Loretto.” 

The hospital is being mismanaged and there’s a high employee turnover rate.

Last year, 180 staff members were threatening to strike over wages, staffing issues and disloyalty to the Austin community.  

Now let’s examine the political ties to Loretto Hospital. 

 State Rep. Camille Lilly or as I call her, “Run of the Mill Camille,” is the chief external affairs officer at Loretto Hospital. I feel this is a conflict of interest.

Why do I feel that way?

 She is a former director and currently a decision-maker under the Loretto Hospital community component of Austin Chamber of Commerce.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, which broke the story, she alone handed the list directly to staff members at Loretto Hospital to conduct vaccinations at Trump Towers, a high-end jewelry store and a steakhouse restaurant — all located in ritzy areas around Chicago.

Others receiving vaccinations included Cook County Judges.

I would understand if Loretto Hospital did the vaccinations at Coleman’s Chicken, Uncle Remus, Sankofa, or even Mac Arthur’s. But No!

Do Loretto officials feel an apology or explanation is not necessary for decades of wrongdoing and unethical behavior? There should be an internal investigation of Rep. Camille Lilly for ethics violations and health department investigations into Loretto Hospital regarding the vaccines. The Austin community was one of the areas hit hardest by COVID-19 last year.

Some of Austin’s political, business and clergy leaders gave Loretto a pass saying they were “only concerned” during a Westside Black elected officials zoom meeting regarding Loretto’s shady practices.

 Facts are facts people! 

Resign Camille. Just ride off into the sunset!

History is repeating itself over and over again in Austin. The Austin community is a diamond and it will shine once older leaders recognize new leaders in the community and step aside.

Roman Morrow, Austin talk show host