HSHS moves up 2nd hospital closure

Springfield, Ill.-based Hospital Sisters Health System will close not one, but two Wisconsin hospitals on March 22. 

The system has moved up its closure of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wis., marking the second hospital to see an earlier-than-anticipated shutter date as HSHS terminates its presence in Western Wisconsin. Both Sacred Heart and HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls, Wis., were previously expected to close on or before April 21. 

HSHS announced an advancement of St. Joseph's closure in late January, and Sacred Heart's on March 11. The two facilities will now complete their wind-down of operations and permanently close on the same day, March 22, according to HSHS and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 

"While the March closure of Sacred Heart is sooner than originally announced, our decision is based on our top priority: our commitment to maintain safe, quality care for our patients," John Wagner, president and CEO of both hospitals, said in the March 11 announcement. 

HSHS has not altered plans to shutter nearly 20 health centers in the region co-operated by multispecialty group Prevea Health. As previously announced, those clinics will terminate patient care services April 21, with Prevea's Western Wisconsin residency clinics and its UW-Stout location remaining operational through June 30. 

The 1,407 employees affected by the closures have received legally required notices, and the advanced closures will not affect severance or career transition assistance, according to HSHS.

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