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NorthShore University HealthSystem plans to expand its open-heart surgery program at Evanston Hospital and close the one it operates at Skokie Hospital.

Chicago Health Care Daily reports the hospital group has filed an appliction with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to make the changes as part of a plan to launch a new cardiovascular institute in hops of gaining a bigger share of the lucrative heart care market.

The institute would provide care at seven sites, with five advanced subspecialty programs..

The Skokie program reportedly has been underutilized, with less than 16 percent as many surgery cases in 2011 as the program at Evanston Hospital.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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