St. Francis seeks to drop pediatric unit


Evanston's St. Francis Hospital plans to shut down its 12-bed pediatric unit next year.

The hospital filed a request with the state health facilities board earlier this month for approval of the closure, saying the unit averaged just 1.7 patients a day last year, down from 2.3 in 2009.

A hospital spokesman told Crain's Chicago Business that with so few patients maintaining the pediatric unit has becom financially impractical.

Increasingly parents have chosen to send their children to dedicated children's hospital facilities.

St. Francis, with 271 beds, opened in 1901. It's now part of the Presence Health, the second-largest health system in the Chicago area.

The hospital plans to convert the pediatric unit into an adult care unit with private rooms.

The health facilities board hasn't yet set a hearing date for the St. Francis request.

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