MIL-OSI USA: Van Orden Urges Governor Evers to Join His Request for State, Federal Resources Following Recent Hospital Closures in Western Wisconsin

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Derrick Van Orden (Wisconsin 3rd)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Derrick Van Orden (WI-03) sent a letter to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers urging him to utilize state and federal resources to provide medical care alternatives in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District. This letter follows the announcement of the closure of the Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, and Prevea Health’s facilities throughout the Chippewa Valley.

“Rural communities, like those in the Third Congressional District, are continuously left on the sidelines when it comes to accessible healthcare, and these hospital closures will only make it more difficult for Wisconsinites to get the medical care they need,” Congressman Van Orden stated in his letter.

Congressman Van Orden continues: “This is truly a dire situation and I want to keep all available options on the table in an attempt to mitigate the negative consequences of these closures. This is why I am asking you to join me in requesting all available resources, state and federal, be made available to the state of Wisconsin.  

I will do everything in my capacity as the Congressional Representative of my constituents to ensure rural Wisconsin is not forgotten and people have access to care.  I hope you will join me and work in close coordination in doing so.”

Last week, Congressman Van Orden participated in a town hall held in Eau Claire with medical representatives and local and state elected officials to discuss how they can work together to provide rural Wisconsinites with medical care once the designated medical facilities close. Click here to watch.

To read the full letter, click here or scroll below.

February 5, 2024

 

Governor Evers,

Following the announcement of the closure of the Hospital Sister’s Health System’s (HSHS) Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, and Prevea Health’s facilities throughout the Chippewa Valley, I have been in constant contact with all relevant stakeholders to develop solutions for the 1,400 western Wisconsinites that are out of a job and rural Wisconsin families that will shortly be without medical care. 

Rural communities, like those in the Third Congressional District, are continuously left on the sidelines when it comes to accessible healthcare, and these hospital closures will only make it more difficult for Wisconsinites to get the medical care they need. 

Specifically, the closures of these two hospitals and the Prevea clinics will result in the loss of:

  • two of four emergency rooms;
  • rural and urban EMS services;
  • over 100 medical beds including 15 critical care unit beds;
  • a cancer center with over 400 patients, 100 of which are currently undergoing active treatment;
  • the only inpatient adolescent psychiatric unit in western Wisconsin; 
  • a wound care clinic with hyperbaric capabilities and over 175 current patients;
  • a birthing center that will serve an anticipated 900-1200 pregnant mothers; and
  • a dialysis treatment center with 50 patients.

This is not an exhaustive list, and the impact will have secondary and tertiary effects on the community at large, including in our neighboring states of Minnesota and Michigan. 

With other hospitals in the area at or near capacity, these closures present a threat to public health and safety in the community. 

This is truly a dire situation and I want to keep all available options on the table in an attempt to mitigate the negative consequences of these closures. This is why I am asking you to join me in requesting all available resources, state and federal, be made available to the state of Wisconsin. 

I will do everything in my capacity as the Congressional Representative of my constituents to ensure rural Wisconsin is not forgotten and people have access to care. I hope you will join me and work in close coordination in doing so. 

 

Sincerely, 
Derrick Van Orden 

Member of Congress

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