Business briefs: Changes ahead, yet again, for West Sub's ownership

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Vanguard Health Systems, the owner of West Suburban Medical Center , is about to be sold, representing yet another shift in ownership for the Oak Park hospital.

Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Vanguard Health Systems, Inc. have signed a definitive agreement whereby Tenet will acquire Vanguard. The pact, which is expected to close before the end of 2013 pending anticipated regulatory approvals, will extend Tenet's reach into markets like Chicago and Detroit. Vanguard's presence in Chicago is currently limited to four hospitals, three of them located in the near west suburbs – West Suburban, Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park and MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn.

The shift is just the latest change in ownership for West Sub which has had a series of owners over the past decade. During that time frame the hospital has moved from being an independent, non-profit community hospital to a merger with Loyola Medical Center. The merger was later broken up and West Sub returned for a short while to its independent ownership. The hospital was then acquired by Resurrection Health Care. While Resurrection did build a needed new ER for West Sub, the system's broader financial problems led to a sale of West Sub and Westlake by Resurrection to the for-profit Vanguard system.

"This unique strategic transaction will bring together organizations that share a common commitment to providing high quality care and create significant new growth prospects for Tenet," Trevor Fetter, president and chief executive officer of Tenet, wrote in the news release. "This acquisition will take Tenet into new geographic markets, expand the breadth of our service offerings, diversify our earnings sources and increase the benefits we expect to realize under healthcare reform. This acquisition will also include a substantial contribution from the application of Conifer's capabilities to Vanguard's operations. We expect additional financial contributions to come from supply costs savings and labor management efficiencies."

Upon closing, Charlie Martin, Vanguard's founder, chairman and chief executive officer, will join Tenet's Board of Directors. Keith Pitts, Vanguard's vice chairman, will join the Tenet senior management team as vice chairman.

Consolidation in the health care industry is partially a response to the ongoing implementation of national health care reform. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that this acquisition is unlikely to be the last by Tenet.

New restaurant, hat shop in store for OP

The former Papaspiros location at 733 Lake St. will remain a restaurant, in fact, a Mediterranean restaurant, as it was recently approved for a liquor license. And similar to the departed Greek restaurant, which has plans to open across the street soon, the new eatery will offer Greek and Mediterranean food.

The new establishment, Chara, will be run by Oktunc Sipahi. According to a village report, he has 21 years of restaurant/hotel experience. He manages the Write Inn on Oak Park Avenue which is owned by James Bushouse, also the owner of the building which houses the new restaurant. Sipahi also was the owner of Thyme and Honey restaurant in in Forest Park. Our sister paper, the Forest Park Review, reports that Sipahi recently sold that spot to focus on the Oak Park venture.

Also joining Oak Park will be HooDoo Headwear, expected to open soon at 111 N. Marion St. According to its website, the shop sells hats, caps and hip fashion accessories. Looks like fedoras and other classic hats might be popular again in town.

Classic Pilates headed to Chicago Avenue

After five years in The Hemingway District, an Oak Park Pilates studio will soon move into a studio on Chicago Avenue.

Classic Pilates, currently at 820 North Blvd. will be closed June 28 through July 7 as it moves to 1116 Chicago Ave. If construction plans move forward as scheduled, the new studio will reopen July 8. Owners reminded clients on its website that the re-opening date may be pushed if construction delays occur.

"So many great things have happened there, and so many new people have joined us in our quest to develop our bodies and minds using the Pilates method," the owners wrote in a recent newsletter blast. "Gratefully, all this work will continue in a new, and equally appealing, location."

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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