Representative West spoke at the health facilities and services review board hearing addressing Mercy Health’s unconscionable decision to close inpatient services on the west side of Rockford. Please see his written comments below:
"I can go for an hour talking about the atrocities of Javon Bea, but I only have two minutes. So, I’ll refrain from speaking about how Javon Bea can afford to put statues of himself in every entrance of both campuses, but he can’t afford to sustain the crucial services needed on the west side of Rockford, the side of town that he 'came from'.
When Javon Bea and Mercyhealth showed a desire to come to Rockford and build a hospital off I-90, every Rockfordian was concerned about what would happen to the west side campus - and we were assured that the one and only hospital on the west side will remain open and provide crucial services.
Even in 2020, in a news story with WREX - Javon Bea addressed rumors that he was getting ready to close the Rockton campus. He said that's not true. He plans to keep the hospital open indefinitely, however, he said there is one thing that could shut the hospital down for good. Flooding.
Personally, I’m thinking that he meant water. But his actions over the past couple of years, in the middle of a pandemic, showed me that he also meant a flood of Medicaid patients needing services will cause them to drop Medicaid providers because it was affecting their bottom line, or a flood of covid patients from the west side which caused elective surgeries to take a temporary back seat during this pandemic and that flood also effected their bottom line.
Despite these actions from Javon Bea Hospital, I secured millions of dollars from the state for the hospital - out of good faith, whatever I needed to do to ensure that the Rockton campus stayed open - yet here we are.
So, the next question is, where do we go from here? I’m imploring Mercy to do the right thing and stand on what you’ve been telling our community since day one. Excellence everywhere for everyone means that the services that are on the east side, needs to also be on the west side.
Because as of right now, a promise made is not a promise kept. There’s still time to fix that. Reverse this decision.”