Alderwoman Melinda Hult attended the first public hearing of the Health Facilities and Services Review Board at Lindenwood University Thursday to speak in opposition to St. Elizabeth’s plans to close their Belleville Hospital.
“I was born at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and value the excellent healthcare they provide our city and surrounding communities,” said Hult, who carried the pink beaded baby bracelet, which spelled out her maiden name (Goff) that St. Elizabeth’s nurses placed on her the day she was born at the hospital over 50 years ago.
“I firmly believe that the entire Belleville community will suffer from the loss of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. As the largest population center in the metro-east it is imperative that the vital healthcare services remain here,” Hult shared.
Hult was slotted to speak, but with a packed room and time constrictions, only 40 of the more than 600 people were given the opportunity to speak.
Hult stated that she would be at every hearing moving forward and has sent a letter to the administrators of St. Elizabeth’s requesting they reconsider the move.
Hult, who is also a candidate for state representative in the 113th District, which St. Elizabeth’s is part of, also criticized her opponent Jay Hoffman for not attending the hearing or showing any support for opposing the move.
“Jay’s absence here today is indicative of his lack of concern for loss of jobs and healthcare services to the people of this district,” Hult stated. “This is one of the most important issues facing residents and he is a no show.”
“Hoffman touts that he was named the Illinois Hospital Association’s Legislator of the Year, but he can’t even find time in his schedule to attend the most critical issue facing hospitals and healthcare in his own district,” said Hult. “For the last 20 years, Jay has lost touch with working families of this district and would rather take care of the special interest groups who have helped fund his political career.”
State Board of Elections reports in September 2014 show Hoffman accepted $1000 donation from the Illinois Hospital Association.