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Village of Park Forest - Top Story News

Posted on: February 2, 2018

Board members to consider future of Health Dept. at Monday meeting

Board to discuss Health Department future, Feb. 5

On Monday, Feb. 5, Park Forest board members will consider a resolution to discontinue the home healthcare and clinical services of the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus.

A special workshop was held Jan. 29 to begin to discuss the future of the department which first opened its doors in Park Forest in 1952. At the meeting attended by members of Park Forest’s health, finance, and administration teams, board members considered the Village's ability to continue to provide healthcare services.

Declining revenues are said to be a primary reason for reevaluating the Health Department operation.

In a memo to Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg, Village Manager Tom Mick said, “there has been a steady decrease in patient census figures over the past decade.” Mick said the decline was due to hospitals pushing their own home health services, the rise in privately-owned and operated home health care agencies, services like flu shots now readily available at local CVS and Walgreens stores, and increased options due to nationalized healthcare.

As a result of the drop in patients, Health Department revenues have decreased. Revenues have dropped by close to 40 percent since 2006-2007, from $547,504 to $318,306 in 2016-17. Current year projects are not expected to top $200,000.

Taxpayer support of the operation has increased to compensate for the revenue shortfall. In 2000, taxpayer support of the Health Department was $100,000. By 2015-16, taxpayer support of the Health Department had jumped to $603,000. In 2016-17, Park Forest taxpayers supported the Health Department in the amount of $545,000.

Monday’s meeting at Village Hall begins at 7 p.m.

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