Battle over proposed suburban Chicago hospitals roars
Through five hours, 73 witnesses and 71 orally read letters, testimony poured in Friday for and against the idea of building a hospital in Crystal Lake. The public hearing by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board often sounded like a debate between "Mercy Health System ought to build a hospital in Crystal Lake" and "No, it would be better if Centegra Health System built a hospital in Huntley." But officials from Sherman Hospital in Elgin and other existing hospitals that serve Crystal Lake and Huntley residents reminded state board members why they had tentatively voted in June not to approve either new hospital. Trent Gordon, an executive of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, used this "plague against both your houses" idea to create some humor when he became the second-to-last witness to speak. "I believe we have all reached an agreement here today," Gordon said. "Centegra argues that the Mercy proposal should not be built. Mercy argues that the Centegra proposal should not be built. I agree with everyone." Review board General Counsel Frank Urso said board members probably will make final decisions about both proposals when they meet in December.
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