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Weiss Hospital To Be Sold To Michigan Firm, Its Second Owner In 3 Years

Pipeline Health is selling Weiss and West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park for $92 million. "We have been struggling to make these hospitals successful," a Pipeline executive said.

Weiss Hospital is has successfully treated a COVID-19 patient using convalescent plasma.
Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
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UPTOWN — Weiss Memorial Hospital could soon have a new owner, potentially ending a three-year run for the hospital under current ownership that saw major upgrades to the campus and neighborhood concern over its future.

California-based Pipeline Health has signed a letter of intent to sell Weiss and West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park for $92 million, the firm announced Thursday. It would be sold to a Michigan-based Resilience Healthcare, pending approval from state lawmakers.

The sale could go in front of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board in late April or early June, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said in an email to constituents.

If the sale goes through, it would cap a noteworthy period for Weiss, 4646 N. Marine Drive, under Pipeline Health.

Pipeline in early 2019 bought Weiss along with West Suburban Medical Center and Westlake Hospital for $70 million. The company soon after shuttered Westlake in Melrose Park, saying the closure would help it invest in the more financially viable Weiss and West Suburban.

Pipeline was forced to pay Melrose Park a $1.5 million settlement following the hospital closure.

The closure caused concern among North Side lawmakers and neighbors who worried about the future of Weiss under Pipeline.

Neighbors and housing advocates raised further concern over the hospital’s future after Pipeline sold Weiss’ parking lot along Wilson Avenue to a development firm for $12 million.

After neighbor protests and a controversial vote on the project, a 314-unit apartment building has been approved to rise on the former parking lot. The developer has applied for a building permit for the project but it has not yet been granted by the city, records show.

Pipeline will refund $12 million of the purchase price for Weiss to make good on its pledge to use the parking lot’s sale to further invest in the hospital, the company said in a statement.

All of Weiss’ operations will continue as usual while the sale moves forward, Cappleman said in an email to constituents. After concerns about Weiss’ future, Cappleman said the sale “serves as further proof that Weiss Hospital is here to stay.”

“This potential sale will allow a new owner, rather than a private equity firm, to increase investment in Weiss Hospital and commit to its continued success,” Cappleman said.

Credit: 46th Ward Office
Lincoln Property Company is seeking to turn a surface parking lot at Weiss Hospital into a 12-story apartment building.

Pipeline said it has invested more than $35 million into Weiss. That includes a $12 million parking garage renovation, a $13 million medical records upgrade and a $5 million new orthopedic center that debuted late 2021.

The sale comes as hospitals have struggled with staffing shortages and financial trouble during the coronavirus pandemic. Weiss has over 100 open positions, according to Crain’s.

Weiss and West Suburban are being sold to Resilience Healthcare, led by Manoj Prasad, a healthcare executive with over two decades of experience in healthcare turnarounds, according to Pipeline.

“We have been struggling to make these hospitals successful,” Nick Orzano, Pipeline founder and board member, said in a statement. “Manoj approached us to take on the challenge, and we believe he is an excellent fit, with a proven track record of success, for the communities we serve.”

Prasad said in a statement he is in the process of moving to Chicago to work with Weiss and West Suburban.

“We’re excited to secure state approval and get to work,” he said.

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