The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board has approved the sale of Oak Park-area hospital West Suburban Medical Center to Resilience Healthcare. The approval paves the way for yet another ownership change for West Suburban, a hospital beleaguered by a revolving door of owners.
This time around, Village President Vicki Scaman believes the hospital has found in Resilience Healthcare an owner that will stick around, a new company headed up by health-care executive Manoj Prasad, who was not available for comment. Scaman was among those who spoke out in support of the sale during the June 7 HFSRB meeting. She expressed her confidence in Prasad during an interview with Wednesday Journal.
“I do trust his desire to engage the community and be collaborative in the way that meets the health needs of both Oak Park and its surrounding communities,” Scaman said, adding that Prasad plans to embrace wider health-related discussions, such as food insecurity and homelessness.
West Suburban is currently owned by California-based Pipeline Health. HFSRB approval is important to advancing the ownership change, according to Pipeline Health spokesperson Jane Brust.
“This is not a done deal; this is an ongoing process,” said Brust. “The state review board approval this week was a huge step forward and we’re grateful that the board members acknowledge the importance of these hospitals to their communities.”
The transaction, valued at $92 million, will also include the sale of Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Pipeline, which has made “significant improvements” worth $60 million to the hospitals, has committed to refunding $12 million from the sale back to West Sub and Weiss for further investment. An actual transition date has not yet been established.
“The buyer and the seller have the green light by virtue of this approval to move forward, but there’s still some due diligence going on, there’s still some discussion and planning going on,” Brust said.
Pipeline purchased the two hospitals in 2019, along with Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park. The subsequent closing of Westlake Hospital by Pipeline, despite promising to improve the safety-net hospital, sparked ire from political officials and residents alike.
The souring of the health-care company’s community relationships following that broken promise to keep Westlake open has not been forgotten by Scaman.
“They did a lot of damage,” said the village president. “The disappointment just resonated, and it’s stuck with people.”
Being headquartered in California, Scaman wonders if perhaps Pipeline did not work as hard as it could have to understand the Chicago-area communities it served. She does not believe that will be the case for Resilience Healthcare as Prasad intends to live within or near the Oak Park community.
“Dr. Prasad is taking that time to understand what West Suburban means to the community,” she said.
West Sub ownership history
- Resilience Healthcare (pending)
- Pipeline Healthcare 2019-2022
- Tenet Healthcare 2013-2018
- Vanguard 2009-2013
- Resurrection Health Care 2004-2009
- Independent ownership 1999-2004
- Loyola University Medical Center 1996-1999