- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (AP) - A state board has given its approval for a southern Illinois hospital to move from downtown Belleville to O’Fallon.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the plan Tuesday. The action allows St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to close a 303-bed hospital in Belleville and open a new 144-bed facility seven miles away. The project is expected to cost $253 million.

The Belleville News Democrat reports (https://bit.ly/1DKbGuq) the vote at a meeting in Bolingbrook was 8-to-0. The board conditioned its approval on the hospital keeping 200 employees in Belleville for at least two years.

The meeting drew opponents and supporters. Belleville Police Chief William Clay opposed the move, saying it would hurt low-income residents. But Devon Moody-Graham told the board her family would follow St. Elizabeth’s “wherever it goes.”

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, https://www.bnd.com

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