|May 3, 2002
A STATEMENT REGARDING FRANKLIN HOSPITAL
by John R. Lumpkin, M.D., Director
Beginning in February, a number of discussions regarding the continued operation of Franklin Hospital in Benton have taken place.
Throughout these discussions, it has been the position of the Illinois Department of Public Health that whether Franklin Hospital remains open or closes is solely a decision for the Franklin Hospital District Board. The Departments statutory role is to regulate and license hospitals in the state and to ensure the health and welfare of hospital patients.
A resolution passed by the Franklin Hospital District Board on Tuesday, April 30, would seem to suggest that the Department had set an arbitrary deadline for the board to present a plan of operation or closure. The only request the Department has made of the board is simply to let us know what course of action the board intends to follow.
Since earlier this year, a number of potential actions have been proposed: management of the hospital would switch from Franklin Community Care Services to the hospital district board on May 21, the board was exploring designation of the facility as a critical access hospital, the sale of the hospital was a possibility and several other entities offered a variety of management plans.
The Department has made staff available to assist the hospital district board with understanding the pertinent state hospital regulations. It was made clear to the board that it alone must decide how to proceed. If, upon examination of its resources and capabilities, it decided that the preferred course of action was to keep the hospital open as a critical access hospital, the Department stood ready to do what it could to assist. However, if the board determined that it could not operate the hospital, the board was informed it needed to notify the Department of its closure plan as required by state statute (notice of closure must come 90 days before ceasing operations). At no time did the Department indicate it had approval authority over a plan detailing either option.
The Department stands ready to assist in whatever course of action the board decides to take. At the same time, the Department will closely monitor hospital operations to ensure that the welfare of the facilitys fragile populations is protected.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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