West Suburban Medical Center is changing ownership once again. Pipeline Health announced March 10 its plans to sell the Oak Park hospital to the Michigan-based healthcare management group Resilience Healthcare. The acquisition, worth $92 million, also includes Weiss Memorial Hospital in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.
Resilience Healthcare is a new company that was formed for the Pipeline Health transaction and is under the leadership of Manoj Prasad. He was described as “a health executive with over two decades in healthcare turnaround” in a joint news release from Pipeline and Resilience Healthcare. Search engine queries turned up no results for a Resilience Healthcare website.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to serve the patients and communities of Oak Park and residents of the West Side as well as Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood and beyond. We’re excited to secure state approval and get to work,” Prasad said in the release.
West Suburban and Weiss have been under Pipeline’s ownership since 2019. Former Oak Park mayor and chairman of the West Suburban governing board, Anan Abu-Taleb told Wednesday Journal the governing board has not yet “digested” all the information regarding the potential sale.
“Am I glad West Suburban is going through another change in ownership? No,” said Abu- Taleb.
However, Abu-Taleb spoke positively of Prasad, describing him as a “very impressive fellow” and that he seemed “very passionate about providing quality healthcare.”
The potential sale will not hinder hospital operations, according to Abu-Taleb who said West Suburban staff and leadership will continue caring for patients as usual both now and in the future.
“We stand ready to work on behalf of the community to maintain this organization,” he said.
The two healthcare companies are applying for a change of ownership through the Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board. If the change of ownership is approved, New Jersey-based businessman Reddy Rathnakar Patlola, a financial partner in Resilience, will be investing in the acquisition and operations, according to the news release.
Pending the authorization of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, Resilience Healthcare will procure both hospitals and their campus properties.
“Both parties are interested in a smooth and seamless transition,” said Pipeline CEO Andrei Soran in the news release. “All hospital operations will continue as usual with quality, compassionate care delivered to all patients served.”
Prasad’s LinkedIn page states he is presently CEO of XPERTEASE and has been since Jan. 2017. He listed his responsibilities as focusing on “financial, clinical, cultural and operational transformation of hospitals and group practices globally” and “bringing jeopardized hospitals back into regulatory compliance.”
“My career turning around hospitals and health care organizations has been based on collaborations with and alignment of the medical staff, nurses, support staff and staff on the front lines at hospitals,” Prasad was quoted as saying in the news release.
“I listen to them and to our patients and community partners and they see I am willing to roll up my sleeves and work side-by-side with them. We get aligned on the common goals of providing our patients high quality and affordable care and turning around a treasured community asset.”
He is reportedly moving to the Oak Park and River Forest area, which Abu-Taleb called a positive of the sale. Prasad plans to work full-time shoring up the financial positions of both hospitals to make them more sustainable, so the institutions can continue to provide critical healthcare services to patients.
Pipeline founder and board member Nick Orzano is quoted in the news release saying, “We have been struggling to make these hospitals successful. Manoj approached us to take on the challenge, and we believe he is an excellent fit, with a proven track record of success, for the communities we serve.”
More than 80 percent of West Suburban’s patients are residents of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, according to Pipeline, which described the community as “at-risk.” Approximately 76 percent of West Suburban patients are Black.
Wednesday Journal reported last month that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Education had withdrawn the accreditation of West Suburban’s internal medicine residency program. It was also reported that West Suburban’s family medicine residency program is on probationary accreditation and has been since October of last year. Prior to that, ACGME records show that program was placed on continued accreditation “with warning” on May 29, 2020.