Kim Wicks spent part of Monday afternoon making cold calls informing people about Centegra Health Care’s plan for a Huntley hospital.
Wicks read a prepared statement as she sat in a storefront office Centegra opened Monday with help from volunteers who are manning it. Inside the lobby, there were hundreds of yard sign Centegra plans to distribute as a show of support for a Huntley hospital.
Centegra is revving up its marketing campaign as it once again plans to go before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to pitch its proposal for a 128-bed hospital on Haligus and Algonquin Roads. A tentative date is set Dec. 6-7 for Centegra’s new hearing before the board. Mercy Health Care, which has its own proposal for a new McHenry County in Crystal Lake, would be scheduled for the same day.
This week, Centegra is asking the village board’s permission to place signs throughout the village. It is part of a campaign that not only includes the signs, but a series of videos titled “Our Community, Our Hospital” featuring local leaders.
“We are hoping to be able to show the board that not only does this project meet their criteria but also there is a lot of community support for this people, people who believe it is needed,” said Susan Milford, Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Planning and Wellness Services
Centegra launched a website last year when it announced it was filing a Certificate of Need application with the state board. Updated are provided regularly and Centegra asked people to submit their stories, Milford said.
“We’ve gotten such great stories and people asking what they can do to help so we started giving them a way to tell their stories,” she said.
The “Our Community, Our Hospital” videos are on its website and are being used in television spots, Milford said. Huntley Village President Charles Sass did a video sharing a story about his own family and the need to have a hospital near by.
Orion Samuelson, a WGN radio personality and Sun City Huntley resident, also made a video, Milford said. Other videos include Crystal Lake residents, she said.
“We want the state board to see there are real people here who are interested in having a hospital in the area and in having access to a hospital,” Milford said.
At Centegra’s new information center, volunteers are making cold calls to get more support for the Huntley hospital and to get people to voice their opinion to the state board.
Volunteers are finding people think that the first round is over and don’t realize another hearing is scheduled, said Suzanne Rewerts, of Algonquin, a volunteer at Centegra’s information center.
“We are just getting the word out to the community,” she said.
The reception is good with more than 80 signs passed out over the weekend, she said.
Anyone interested in displaying a sign can pick one up at Centegra’s center located at 3931 Algonquin Road in the Prestwicke Plaza, Algonquin. It will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
“It’s great to have the community support,” Milford said.