City Council, County Board Will Hold Special Meetings About Hospital Closure
elected bodies will ask HSHS, Prevea to help continue care
Both the Eau Claire City Council and the Eau Claire County Board will hold special meetings Wednesday evening to discuss the impending closure of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and Prevea Health clinics in the region.
These facilities – as well as HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls – announced last month that they will close by April 21, leading to approximately 1,400 lost jobs.
The Eau Claire City Council will meet at 5:30pm Wednesday, Feb. 7, to consider a resolution, proposed by City Council President Emily Berge, which calls on HSHS and Prevea Health to “work collaboratively with partners for continuation of care and service.”
“The closures will have profound impacts on patients, employees, regional availability to quality and timely healthcare, donors to HSHS and Prevea Health, and the local economy,” the resolution declares. It goes on to state that the there are reports of employees losing their jobs already and of equipment, including a mammography machine, being removed from Sacred Heart “well prior to stated closure dates, compromising the ability to provide continuing care even through the short transition period indicated.”
The resolution calls on “the chief executives, board members and medical provider leadership at HSHS and Prevea Health to utilize the entire transition timeline of closure and such additional time as may be necessary to productively engage with community stakeholders including, but not limited to, the local and regional medical systems, the state of Wisconsin, and local municipalities, to ensure a continuity of access to quality medical service within the community for the health and well-being of patients and all residents.”
Likewise, the Eau Claire County Board is scheduled to meet at 7pm Wednesday to discuss a similar resolution. In part, that resolution states, “The Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors requests HSHS and Prevea Health to utilize the entire transition timeline to allow community stakeholders including, but not limited to, the medical community and local municipalities, to work collaboratively to ensure a continuity of service within the community for the health and well-being of residents.”
Meanwhile, an HSHS/Prevea Recovery Task Force has begun to take shape. The group – backed by the chambers of commerce in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, and Menomonie – is co-chaired by Jerry Jacobson, president of Northwestern Bank in Chippewa Falls, and retired healthcare executive Bill Rupp. Learn more about the task force here.
In addition, Gov. Tony Evers and several members of his administration, including Department of Workforce Development Secretary Amy Pechacek, visited Eau Claire Monday to discuss the response to the healthcare closures. Learn more about those efforts and related job fairs here.