Cook County Health’s new $240M hospital is on hold

Construction is delayed, at least until a new CEO is appointed

Feb.February 04, 2020 01:00 PM
Provident Hospital and Interim CEO of Cook County Health Debra Carey (Credit: Cook County Health)

Provident Hospital and Interim CEO of Cook County Health Debra Carey (Credit: Cook County Health)

The $240 million hospital construction project in Bronzeville is on hold, at least until a new CEO is appointed.

Dr. Jay Shannon was removed from as CEO of Cook County Health in November after a vote by the board. Debra Carey is standing in as interim CEO while Cook County searches for a replacement, according to Crain’s.

News of the delay comes just two weeks after four South Side hospitals – Advocate Trinity Hospital, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital – announced plans for a merger.

The new hospital in Bronzeville has been in the works since October 2019 when Cook County Health received approval to build the eight-story, 42-bed medical facility at 29th and Dearborn in South Side. The new facility would replace the currently-standing Provident Hospital, which is in an area some believe will soon be targeted for gentrification.

Plans for the new facility follow a 2014 study that estimated Provident would need to spend at least $298 million modifying existing facilities to keep pace with competitors.

Most of the Provident project would be paid for with $192 million in bonds to be paid down in 20 years, from revenue made on patients, Dr. Shannon, the former CEO, said in August. The rest would come out of the hospital’s operating budget. Construction on the new building is expected to be completed in April 2023.

The four merging hospitals plan to open at least one new hospital and as many as six community health centers, an estimated $1.1 billion investment, according to Crain’s.

Provident is renowned as a pioneering African American hospital which opened in 1891 and closed in 1987. Cook County reopened the medical center in 1993 as a public hospital.
[Crain’s] — Jacqueline Flynn

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