Chicago will be home to two of the state’s four medical districts. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a measure on Aug. 5 that will create the Roseland Community Medical District (RCMD). The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) and State Representative Robert Rita (D- Blue Island). The district will be located in the Roseland community. The Illinois Medical District located on the city’s Westside is currently Chicago’s only medical district.
The state’s other two medical districts are located in Springfield and East St. Louis.
The Citizen first reported on House Bill 1888 when the legislation was drafted this past May.
RCMD is expected to help the city’s far South side and surrounding area “attract high-tech and medical research investments,” according to a release from the governor’s office.
“We need to use everything in our toolbox to grow our economy and create jobs,” Governor Quinn said. “Keys to our future prosperity are in the high-tech and medical fields, where revolutionary advancements are made every day. This legislation will help ensure that more of those breakthroughs are made in Illinois.”
Medical districts are legal entities that can solicit funds, enter into leases, and perform other functions related to the expansion, development and maintenance of health facilities. They do not have taxing authority.
Rep. Rita recently released a statement on the newly created RCMD.
“The communities of the south side of Chicago and the South Suburbs are medically underserved, and this law will allow local health care advocates to take the lead in developing new medical research and treatment facilities for local families,” Rep. Rita said. “With this new medical district, we can strengthen the services that are currently provided by Roseland Community Hospital, as well as develop new facilities to improve the quality of care for our neighborhoods.”
In addition to bringing quality health care options to the community, Sen. Jones is also optimistic about the RCMD’s opportunities for medical research.
“The creation of this new medical district will revitalize the Roseland Community Hospital and the surrounding area,” the senator said. “The Roseland Community Medical District will improve the quality of medical services for patients and generate improved medical research by streamlining of the area’s healthcare facilities.”
Sen. Jones told the Citizen that the RCMD will improve medical research because the district will have the opportunity to be considered for grants and programs for the study of diseases and other medical issues.
In addition, the measure also creates a commission that will produce an economic development plan in hopes of enticing academic institutions, medical research facilities and high-tech businesses to the neighborhood.
The Roseland Community Medical District Commission will consist of 12 members, with three each being appointed by the governor, the mayor of the city of Chicago and the president of the Cook County board. The secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services and directors of the Illinois Departments of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Illinois Department of Public Health will serve as ex-officio members.
Once the RCMD commission’s economic plan is approved, the commission will administer the district’s development.
Sen. Jones said the economic development plan will be created once the commission has been formed. He added that it will be created within the next few months.
HB 1888 goes into effect immediately.
Thelma Sardin, press releases