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Lindenhurst hospital proposal deferred to March

Renditiproposed VistMedical Center Lindenhurst. | Special Sun-Times Media

Rendition of proposed Vista Medical Center in Lindenhurst. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 7, 2013 1:34AM

The fate of Vista Health System’s proposal to build a new hospital in Lindenhurst will have to wait at least another month after Vista officials requested the postponement of a scheduled appearance Tuesday before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

The request for certificate of need for a 132-bed, $131 million facility was one of 10 “substantive” applications on the agenda for the board’s meeting in Bolingbrook, but Vista president and CEO Barbara Martin said in a statement that her organization asked for another month to present its case.

“Vista Health System has asked the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to consider the Vista Medical Center-Lindenhurst hospital Certificate of Need application during the Review Board’s March 26, 2013 meeting,” Martin said. “We have requested the deferral from the Feb. 5 meeting to take time to address some of the peripheral issues that have been raised.

“Then, when the review board considers our project, it will be able to focus on its primary goal, which is increased access to health care services for central and northwestern Lake County residents,” she added.

While Martin did not elaborate on what issues would be addressed, the Vista proposal was dealt a potential setback last month when a review board staff report released in advance of the hearing stated that “the proposed project does not appear to be in conformance with the need” for a new acute-care center in Lake County.

The staff report did find Vista’s plan in compliance with 20 of 23 requirements, but added that “it does not appear that the proposed facility will improve service access in the planning area, as there are existing services within 45 minutes of the proposed hospital operating at less than the State Board’s target occupancy for medical surgical and obstetric beds.”

The existing medical facilities were listed as Advocate Condell in Libertyville, Advocate Good Shepherd in Barrington, Midwestern Regional in Zion and Vista East in Waukegan.

The board’s March 26 meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Bloomington.

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