Monday, February 13, 2006

Mary Mitchell talks about Bethany Hospital...

She discuses in her latest article the changes at Bethany Hospital in the Lawndale neighborhood. I had posted about this last month. Apparently there is more to say about this than what I saw on Crain's. She looks at the community response to the latest proposal by Advocate Health Care.
Of course given that the loss of the services that are being phased out by Advocate affect a poor community where most of the residents do not have any type of health insurance there are those who are making this a racial or class issue. It appears Mitchell may not think that community activists are not seeing the big picture here.

Don't think for a second that Advocate is racist Mitchell talks to Tony Mitchell, vice president of communication and government relations for Advocate Health Care he mentions the situation is a mostly black south suburb of Hazel Crest...

...But he's an African American who said he grew up in Markham. He has watched Advocate pour money into its facility in Hazel Crest and resents that some critics, particularly those aligned with the Service Employees International Union, are characterizing Advocate as a racist organization that is only investing in white areas.
Also noted that there are 16 other hospitals within a five mile radius of Bethany. Tony Mitchell has more to say about the closing of Bethany Hospital and the battle that ensues between Lawndale residents and Advocate...

"In three years, we have gone from this productive employer to a corporation that supports racial redlining," Mitchell said. "There's a full-fledged campaign to sully our reputation and to get management to surrender."
Mary Mitchell believes that community residents are being manipulated and she believes Bethany's current plan can save lives...
Because the underutilized hospital is located in a community that is plagued by complex medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, kidney disease and respiratory conditions, Bethany's plan could save a lot of lives. The hospital also plans to fund community-based efforts to address health-care disparities.
Also consider this quote from Mary Mitchell...
Like most issues in Chicago, the debate over whether or not Bethany should become an acute-care facility is framed by race and class.

Although the controversy started out as a fight between the SEIU and Advocate's management, it has now become a battle between Lawndale residents and Bethany.
You know I have started to like the idea of placing clinics in underserved areas to help the disadvantaged. Hopefully they won't have to go to an emergency room and wait to get treated. That is assuming that a patient is being treated for something that doesn't required emergency attention. Why not a clinic to help in the treatment of severe long term health issues?

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