CHICAGO, IL – April 6, 2020 –
The Loretto Hospital in Conjunction with Representative Ford’s Office, West Side United, and ASAFEHAVEN will be holding a press conference to discuss the disparity faced in our community and the desperate need for resources, at 11:30am on April 7, 2020 at The Loretto Hospital, 645 S. Central Avenue, Chicago, IL 60644
You may be surprised to know that the life expectancies in predominately-black communities are up to 30 years less than their white counterparts in other communities, just a few miles away. The failure of the government’s ability to supply even the minimum resources in the black, latino and low income communities is deadly and unjust.
A recent statistic states that of the reported deaths in Cook County linked to the COVID-19 outbreak, 76% were Black or Hispanic.
“The current COVID-19 epidemic serves to further illustrate the urgency of addressing the underlying root causes poverty, educational deprivation, structural racism and we are eager to work alongside Loretto and others to rapidly move the needle on these critical metrics across the West Side and Chicago.” Said Ayesha Jaco, Executive Director of West Side United
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Loretto Hospital in conjunction with our State Representative LaShawn K. Ford have repeatedly requested resources from the Governor’s office, to help communicate the severity of the COVID-19 infection in our community. Today we continue to have unresolved issues about PPE, testing, nursing home transfers, the homeless, and are beginning to lose nurses and physicians to the COVID-19 facility at McCormick Place.
These requests and pleas for additional and timely resources, continue to go unfulfilled. The people in Chicago must have greater information and far more resources than currently available to deal safely and effectively with this pandemic.
George N. Miller, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of The Loretto Hospital in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago says “We are already at a disadvantage fighting this war; without the resources needed from the state and federal government, we will face a serious crisis here in the Austin neighborhood. If we have to shut our doors because we don’t have the resources or staff to take care of the patients, it will be the greatest failure our community has ever experienced.”
In Chicago, I'm urging Mayor Lori Lightfoot, President Toni Preckwinkle, and Governor J.B. Pritzker to not ignore the health care needs of the Black Community during this COVID-19 Pandemic. We need testing sites in the black communities and resouces to meet the needs of those testing positive for the virus. Homicides and COVID-19 are destroying generations of Black Families in this state.” said State Representative for the 9th District, LaShawn K. Ford.
“I can attest to the need to make sure that safety-net homeless providers that serve as first responders in helping the most disenfranchised populations, deserve to be considered priority partners with the State, along with hospitals and nursing homes in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of medical supplies and financial support to the anchor organizations within the community is needed to protect our front line staff and to meet the unexpected surge in costs. This puts us at higher risk of exposure to contracting the disease and incurring additional financial hardships” said Neli Vazquez Rowland, President and Co-founder A Safe Haven Foundation
To learn more about The Loretto Hospital please contact Mark A. Walker, MHA, MBA, Director of Business Development & Community Relations, at 312-758-2376 or via email at Mark.Walker@lorettohospital.org.