Months after changes were made to Northwest Community Hospital's senior services, the Arlington Heights Senior Center may now be partnering with other health providers for programming.
In January, the Arlington Heights Senior Citizens Commission's subcommittee on community-based senior citizens health services met to discuss Northwest Community's cuts.
"Due to the uncertainty as to the position of Northwest Community Hospital, the subcommittee has no definitive recommendation, except to recommend researching different avenues for providers for senior health services at the senior center," said Karen Hansen, the senior center's manager.
Karie Van Grinsven, a program coordinator for the senior center, said the hospital continues to run a walking club but has scaled back on programming in recent years, going from hosting monthly to quarterly events. Up to 600 people from Arlington Heights and the surrounding communities visit the senior center, 1801 W. Central Road, each day.
Clara Stone, 62, said she comes to the senior center at least once a week for the services. The Arlington Heights woman attends events related to financial investment and acting, but said she wasn't aware of programming put on by Northwest Community.
"If they had those healthy living things for dieting or food, I'd go to those," Stone said.
Last fall, the Arlington Heights-based hospital restructured its senior services program. In the process, it eliminated the sole position in the senior services department, held by Maureen Seleski, an active member of the Arlington Heights senior citizens commission.
Seleski's job was among the 188 cuts made by the hospital last year, and the region's largest independent hospital has since announced it was exploring partnership and affiliation possibilities.
Northwest Community officials maintain that its Healthy Aging program and other outpatient initiatives have not been eliminated. The programs are being integrated with larger ones and the department's duties have been absorbed by others on the hospital staff, officials said.
Days after the Arlington Heights subcommittee recommended exploring other partnerships, Northwest Community presented its existing programming offers and expressed its commitment to a partnership with the senior center.
Sharon Adams, the chairwoman of the village's Senior Citizens Commission, said the Alexian Brothers Health System has been in talks with the senior center. Adams said she doesn't consider the latest recommendation from the subcommittee as cutting ties with Northwest Community.
"There's room for everybody. It's not a situation where we're going to pick and chose," Adams said. "If Alexian Brothers can come forth and draw people in and (Northwest Community) can do the same thing, we'd be foolish to say we only want one or the other."