|Officials at Urbana-based Provena Covenant today released the following statement regarding an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that denied the Catholic hospital ministry exemption from paying property taxes:
"We are deeply disappointed that the Illinois Supreme Court has denied the property tax exemption of Provena Covenant Medical Center," said Jon "Cody" Sokolski, Chair of the Board of Provena Covenant Medical Center. "Provena Covenant Medical Center cares for all in our community who need our health services regardless of their ability to pay. Throughout this controversy, we continued to demonstrate that enduring commitment to Urbana-Champaign. In 2008, we provided more than $38 million in free care and other community benefits. Our goal is to carry on in our charitable works, despite the fact that this ruling restricts our ability to do so."
David Bertauski, President and CEO of Provena Covenant, added, "We are deeply grateful to those who support us, especially our dedicated employees who selflessly bring compassionate, faith-based care to our patients each and every day. We can only hope this troubling ruling prompts a dialogue among hospitals and elected officials to dialogue about not only how we define charity care but also how we better ensure that the people who need financial assistance get it. We will work to lead the way."