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The Voice

The Voice

Supporters for Huntley hospital continue push in appeal process

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review board denied the Centegra project in December. (Marek Makowski/Voice File Photo)

At 5:25 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2011, the Centegra supporter bus was solemn on its journey back from Bolingbrook Golf Club.  Village of Huntley Trustee Pam Fender sat at the front of the bus quietly.
“Cheryl, I think all the community support we had made a difference,” said Fender to community organizer Cheryl Meyer.
Meyer helped organize a rally on Dec. 2 for the community at the proposed site of the hospital.  Many supporters of the hospital showed up at the rally with signs in hand.  Free hot chocolate and snacks were offered for all who attended.
Several volunteers called homes of people in the area to ask whether or not they would put a sign in their yard to show their support of a new hospital in Huntley.
“The community was very accepting of the hospital,” said Kim Wicks, who helped out with calling homes. “Many people wanted signs in their yard.”
When it came to Dec. 7, the community showed up once again.
Centegra provided a bus to and from Bolingbrook Golf Club, which picked up of supporters in Del Webb and at Health Bridge.  Centegra Health System wanted the community to get involved any way they could.
Approximately 30 people spoke about Centegra for one minute each in front of the board about what they think about the new hospital before they got the state board’s vote.
“I was excited, nervous, and anticipatory all at the same time while waiting for the vote,” said Wicks.
Then, at 5:24 p.m. the moment everyone had been waiting for. The Centegra Hospital-Huntley proposal was denied by a tie vote of 4-4.  In order for the hospital proposal to be passed, it needed a majority of five votes.
Citizens of Southern McHenry County and Northern Kane County were worried that their hopes of having a hospital right in their backyard would be forever lost.  But Centegra is still committed to bringing them the hospital they truly need.
“Stay tuned.  This will not end.  We will analyze our options for bringing you the care you need,” said Centegra Health System via Facebook.
Centegra appealed the state board decision on Dec. 7 in order to assure citizens that the fight for Centegra Hospital-Huntley is still alive.
Other hospitals in the area have had less occupancy, which was one of the main reasons why Centegra Hospital-Huntley was not passed for the first vote.
“If other hospitals can start to fill their beds, we should have better luck next time around,” said Wicks.
The next vote of Centegra Hospital-Huntley will depend on the occupancy of the hospitals in the nearby area and the progress of the down economy.
“If our economy was better, we would’ve been passed today,” said Fender.
Community involvement will continue to help the progress of having Huntley’s own hospital on the corner of Reed and Haligus Road.
“If students could get a group together and come to the next voting, it would really help,” said Wicks.  “The number of people present at the voting truly makes a difference.”


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