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Published on September 02, 2009

Valley West Response to Rush-Copley Freestanding Emergency Center

September 02, 2009

Valley West and KishHealth System are pleased with the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board’s intent to deny Rush-Copley’s proposed freestanding emergency center (FEC).

The IHFPB considered Rush-Copley’s project Sept. 1 in Springfield.

Brad Copple, Valley West administrator, said the current make-up of the IHFPB created a difficult situation, requiring all three board members to approve. IHFPB is a five-member board, but currently has two vacant seats. One member voted against the project, forcing an “intent to deny” decision, which Rush-Copley can appeal.
Copple said: “The dissenting vote validates the strong points we made related to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board's planning criteria, points that were supported in the agency's staff report, namely:

  • the absence of need for more emergency services in the service area;
  • the project represents an unnecessary and maldistribution of services.

Copple continues: “The absence of need is well established: within an 18-mile radius of the proposed site, there are seven urgent care centers and five hospitals with emergency services. The level of care (non-critical triage levels 3-5) proposed for the FEC is often the same level of care provided at urgent care centers. Because of the high cost of emergency care, and health care in general, placing a freestanding emergency center in an area already adequately served is not prudent planning or fiscally responsible.  

Valley West, a federally-designated critical access hospital, has a strong service base in Sandwich, Somonauk, Plano, the western portion of Yorkville and the surrounding rural area. The hospital has been a part of the community for more than 70 years, and patient satisfaction remains very high, placing Valley West in the top 10 percent of hospitals in a national database. We will continue to build on our success in patient care by expanding services and recruiting new specialists to practice in the community. Valley West remains dedicated to our patients and will continue to meet the ongoing needs of the communities we serve.”

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