Rauner signs Rezin legislation preserving emergency room for Streator

St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator will be allowed to become a stand-alone emergency room, under a new law sponsored by State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) who recognizes the importance of access to healthcare for the region.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 3213 in law on Dec. 4, and the new law has an immediate effective date.

“This is vital for the people of Streator and the communities surrounding the city,” Rezin said. “I am grateful we could get this legislation passed and signed into law quickly, as keeping an emergency room in Streator is critical in saving people’s lives and making sure the health of citizens in that area are not put in jeopardy.” 

Earlier this year, it was announced Peoria-based OSF would purchase St. Mary’s Hospital owned by Springfield-based HSHS and take control of the Streator facility in early 2016. In-patient services are planned to be eliminated. Without a change in law, OSF would not have been allowed to operate an emergency room without in-patient services. House Bill 3213, however, now allows St. Mary’s to keep its ER without providing in-patient services.

“With the size of Streator, it doesn’t make sense to not have an emergency room,” Rezin said. “People would have had to drive up to 30 miles to get to the nearest emergency room without this legislation. Time means everything when it comes to saving lives.”

Rezin says the new law is also imperative in maintaining jobs, doctors, and high tech technology for the Streator area.

HSHS and OSF say they are working together to provide a seamless transition. OSF says they will offer ambulatory care in the outpatient setting, offering lab tests, X-rays, and now emergency care, saving Streator residents from a 30-minute drive for these services. 

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