State agency approves sale of Mercy Hospital to non-profit

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board on Monday approved the sale of Chicago’s oldest hospital to a newly-formed not-for-profit.

Insight Chicago received approval from the state review board to purchase Mercy Hospital and Medical Center from its owner, Trinity Health.


Insight Chicago, which is affiliated with a Michigan health system, filed documents prior to the vote indicating a change of the hospital’s name because it will no longer operate as a Catholic facility.

"Our intention is to operate at full-service," Insight CEO Dr. Jawad Shah said. "We are in this for the long haul."

Officials said the hospital will offer an emergency department, rehabilitation center, stroke programs, behavioral health assistance, an obstetrics unit, intensive care unit and inpatient medical surgical beds.

Mercy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month with plans to close in May, citing operating losses of $7 million per month. The filing came after the state denied an application from Mercy’s owner, Trinity Health, to open an outpatient care center.

The approval of the review board means the acquisition of Mercy by Insight has the blessing of the state, but the two entities must finalize the deal. Insight seeks to purchase the hospital from Trinity Health for $1.

Community organizers applauded Insight’s track record for working in underserved communities like it has in Flint, Michigan. However, Jitu Brown of Journey 4 Justice said it was important that people in the community have a say in the future of Mercy.

Mercy dates to 1852, when a rooming house was converted into a hospital by the Sisters of Mercy. It survived the Chicago Fire of 1871.