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HSHS Hospitals Officially Close Weeks After Announcement

HSHS Hospitals Officially Close Weeks After Announcement

March 22, 2024 12:01 PM CDT
By: James Kelly

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HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls have officially closed as of Friday morning.

The closures have been looming over the Chippewa Valley healthcare field since they were announced earlier this year. Sacred Heart Hospital was originally scheduled to close on April 21st along with the majority of Prevea clinics in the region, but HSHS officials unexpectedly announced that it would close earlier alongside St. Joseph’s Hospital last week.

The closures have dominated the attention of local officials, other health providers in the area, and state officials like Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. For now, those officials are working on plans to minimize the impact of the closure on patients, and assist the over 1,400 HSHS and Prevea employees who will be losing their jobs find new employment.

Both Marshfield Clinic and Mayo Clinic have announced they will be expanding their footprint in the area, but acknowledge that they will not be able to fully cover the losses as of yet. OakLeaf Medical Network has also explored the possibility of turning the hospital properties into independent community hospitals.

Earlier this week, Rusk County officials announced they’re in the process of buying a Prevea clinic in Ladysmith, which will be rented out to OakLeaf Medical Network.

According to a WEAU report, community members gathered at Sacred Heart Hospital for an honor walk to show their appreciation for the employees that have cared for them for years. The Eau Claire Police and Fire Departments also appeared at the walk.

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital closed at 7 am on Friday. HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital closed at noon.