Suburban Chicago hospital seeking new buyer, could close

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A suburban Chicago hospital that has been operating since 1905 could close by the end of the year unless a buyer is found.

MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island says pretax losses could top $10 million this year. The 314-bed hospital has roughly 800 employees but has been serving an average of less than 100 patients a day.

The hospital was formerly known as St. Francis Hospital. It's affiliated with Community Health Systems of Franklin, Tennessee. MetroSouth chief executive John Walsh says the campus might be turned into an outpatient center.

Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas tells The Daily Southtown that he's contacting public officials at all levels to figure out a way to keep the hospital open. He says a closure would be "devastating."

State Sen. Bill Cunningham says he hopes the hospital "can reinvent itself."