The rumors were true and unfortunate for many Kenosha residents and leaders. Froedert South in downtown Kenosha will close it’s Emergency Department on October 1, 2022. Instead, the building will provide 24/7 “urgent care services.” This means that people who come into the hospital with emergencies that require more than the urgent care center can handle, they will likely dial 9-1-1 and have to tie up City EMS Services to transport the patients to the west-end hospitals.
“Our commitment to the people of Kenosha and Kenosha County as a whole is strong,” said CEO Ric Schmidt who makes about $1.4 Million per year according online records. Some healthcare providers from Froedtert who spoke to KCE, however, say its a move that is based solely on financial reasons, not community service. The hospital, which is in a poor part of the City, receives many Medicaid and Medicare patients and that isn’t making what the hospital wants to make. One staff member shared the following with KCE:
“The administration at the Froedert South Healthcare System can not be oblivious to this. They are choosing to turn a blind eye to the reality that they are going to create by making these changes to a community that has been loyal to them, even though this loyalty has not been reciprocated. While their mission statement includes their values of integrity, respect, accountability, and commitment, they are doing nothing to practice them. They have not been honest to the community and are showing a blatant disregard for the commitment to them. When confronted with the changes being made, they take no accountability for the negative affects they have and will have in the community that had built their business from nothing. At what point do you finally think about why you are in healthcare and stop thinking about ‘business deals’ and money?“
Kenosha Fire Chief Chris Bigly, reached by phone Friday afternoon, said he was disappointed in the change and said he has no doubt that it will effect his department’s EMS operations. Bigley doesn’t yet know to what extent but is diligently putting together the data. Bigley wants the public to know and remember two important things. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, the best thing you can do is call 911. Once an ambulance arrives to your location, there will be at least two paramedics and one EMT on the ambulance to begin medical care immediately. So while the ride to the hospital may be a bit longer, patients will be getting treatment by well-trained fire department staff.