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City of Galesburg breaks silence on Cottage Hospital closure

In a statement, the City of Galesburg said it will monitor community impact of the Cottage Hospital closure and ensure quality health care remains available.

GALESBURG, Ill. — UPDATE: The City of Galesburg on Tuesday morning, Jan. 11 issued a statement addressing the temporary closure of Galesburg Cottage Hospital.

The City, in the statement, acknowledge the important role the hospital has served within the community for the last century, both as a medical provider and employer.

“It is unfortunate that Cottage Hospital is going through difficult times, and we are thinking of the many employees and patients affected by the situation,” Mayor Peter Schwartzman said in the statement. “The City is evaluating avenues to provide assistance to help strengthen our community, lessen the impact of this situation and ensure the needs of the community are met.”

According to the statement, mayor and city council will continue to monitor the effects of Cottage's closure, communicate with local stakeholders, assess the impact on the community and work to ensure quality health care is remains available.

OSF St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, according to the statement, has a strong local presence and will provide health care to the community throughout the closure.

Galesburg will make no other comments at this time, according to the statement.

ORIGINAL: Galesburg Mayor Peter Schwartzman told News 8 the city will release a statement on the closing of Cottage Hospital by 5 p.m. Jan. 11. 

After several efforts including calls, emails and physically showing up at City Hall to receive comment on the escalating situation since Dec. 28, the announcement was made that Medicare and Medicaid terminated payments to the hospital.

News 8 also reached out to City Manager Todd Thompson and the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce for comment. No calls or emails have been returned at this time. 

The Knox County Health Department has also not replied to calls from News 8. 

The Knox County Area Partnership replied, "no comment."

The lack of response comes as the hospital spends its third official day shut down with visits from other area health agencies. Both Unity Point Trinity and OSF Healthcare were seen at Cottage collecting different items. 

A representative with Unity Point Trinity shares they were there collecting computer equipment that already belongs to them. A Unity Point satellite lab was set up at Cottage while the hospital was open. 

OSF Healthcare also sent a courier to collect boxes from inside. 

Find WQAD's full Galesburg Cottage Hospital coverage here.