PERU Ill. (WMBD) — OSF Healthcare signed a letter of intent on Friday with St. Margaret’s to purchase the shutdown Peru hospital, along with other Illinois Valley locations.

The goal is for Peru to eventually have an emergency department and select other services.

St. Margaret’s Peru Hospital closed in late January due to financial reasons.

For those patients needing healthcare services, they had to travel five miles further to the spring valley hospital.

” We have encouraged all parties at the table that we need to provide healthcare services in a region that would become a desert if both hospitals closed, so it’s incredibly important that everybody works together to make sure this merger happens as soon as possible,” said State Senator Sue Rezin.

Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski said having an opportunity to get the hospital back is a game changer for the Illinois Valley.

” It’s the entire region that’s going to benefit from this. You know, healthcare is an ongoing problem throughout the country and until it hits home we don’t realize how bad the situation is,” said kolowski.