Last Thursday, the day the Journal and other media outlets reported that West Suburban Hospital was about to sold yet again, there was an event in the hospital’s lobby.

The purpose was to unveil West Sub’s new mental health outpatient program. A fine thing. But it was clear that the pending sale by Pipeline Health to a newly created entity, aptly called Resilience Healthcare, would need to be acknowledged. And that’s what CEO Barbara Martin did. And that’s what Anan Abu-Taleb, Oak Park’s former mayor and the current chair of West Sub’s local board, did.

Abu-Taleb, to his credit, talked about the coming sale as one in a long and destabilizing series of sales that has been inflicted on both the institution and the communities it serves. By our count this will be the seventh time West Sub has changed hands since it was first acquired in 1996 by what is now known as Loyola Medicine.

He and Martin expressed hope that the new owner, Manoj Prasad, a specialist in health-care turnarounds, will provide vision, resources and stability. That has been the hope seven times. It will have to be proved day-by-day and year-by-year.

Certainly it is notable that West Sub has now run through ownership by multiple hospital chains, that there is no local hospital group bidding for it and its companion hospital at Weiss Memorial in the city.

We are told that Prasad is moving to River Forest, that he will be a hands-on owner and operator. We are told that current management will stay on. This will be a new approach. The West Side, Oak Park, River Forest and other neighbors need this to work.

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