EMS responds to St. Margaret’s in Spring Valley closing

Residents in Bureau County are left scrambling after the announcement that St. Margaret’s Health, hospital, in Spring Valley is closing
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 9:47 PM CDT
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SPRING VALLEY, Ill. (KWQC) - Residents in Bureau County are left scrambling after the announcement that St. Margaret’s Health, hospital, in Spring Valley is closing.

The hospital announced its closing in a Facebook post stating that its closing will be on June 16.

Area residents say that they will now have to travel to nearby town, Princeton, which is approximately a 15 to 20-minute-drive to receive care.

“It is disheartening and tragic, but as of June 16, St. Margaret’s in Spring valley will be closing... We are incredibly aware of the negative impact this will have on our residents as the hospital closing results in fewer medical services for residents and longer ambulance rides to nearby hospitals when every moment matters,” said a statement from the Spring Valley mayor.

Earlier this month, OSF Healthcare signed a letter of intent to purchase the now closed St. Margaret’s facility in Peru, Illinois, along with “other locations across the Illinois Valley.”

This comes as the St. Margaret’s hospital in Spring Valley announced last week that they will be closing their facility on June 16 due to financial reasons.

From their news release on May 5, St. Margaret’s Health President & CEO, Tim Muntz said, “Despite the challenges we’ve faced, we have remained committed to our Mission and to the values of Catholic health care. Together with OSF, we are exploring how residents of the Illinois Valley can access quality health care for years to come.”

In nearby Putnam county, EMS workers cover a 162 mile radius. When responding to emergency calls, they take patients to St. Margaret’s Health. With the hospital closing, they will have to take those patients to Peoria, which is an hour away.

“Luckily, we have our trucks and ambulances that are ALS Paramedic level, and just roll them into the emergency room,” said EMS Chief Director of Putnam County, Andrew Jackson. “We have a lot of tools and medications to use to keep the patients stabilized as possible to get them to the hospital.”

Within the Spring Valley community, local 10/33 Ambulance Service, LTD takes patients directly to St. Margaret’s.

“It’s concerning for anyone when you’re talking about emergency situations,” Managing Director, Bob Hoscheid said. “Time is a factor and any time it’s going to take longer, it’s probably going to be a negative thing.”

We have reached out to OSF to confirm whether the Spring Valley location is part of that deal, and so far, they have declined to comment. We are continuing to investigate this, and we will bring you updates as we learn more.