BARRINGTON, IL-The area in and around this affluent northwest suburb needs a $35.7-million expansion of Good Shepherd Hospital to accommodate an increasing number of residents who may eventually need open-heart surgery. That was the message given to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board this week during nearly six hours of public testimony.

Village President Marshall Reagle notes the only opposition to Oak Brook-based Advocate Health and Hospital Corp.’s application comes from nearby medical facilities that are likely to lose the highly-specialized procedures to an expanded Good Shepherd Hospital, actually located in unincorporated Cuba Township north of Barrington.

Besides an operating room to perform open-heart surgery, the three-story addition would include 43 beds, according to Advocate Health and Hospital Corp.’s plans.

Before it can build the addition, Advocate Health and Hospital Corp. needs a certificate of need from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, which is charged with coordinating medical facilities’ building and expansion programs throughout the state.

The hospital has been forced to transfer an increasing number of cardiac patients, Advocate officials claim. Meanwhile, the population of Good Shepherd Hospital’s service area is expected to grow by more than 8%, to more than 500,000, by 2006. It is estimated that 20% of the population suffers from at least one form of cardiovascular disease, the firm claims.

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