Plans to turn around Provena Health, one of the Chicago area's largest hospital operators, are ahead of schedule, according to a recent financial report. Provena has been hit hard by a declining number of admissions, particularly elective procedures amid the recession. Provena, which operates six hospitals and 16 long-term-care and senior residential facilities in Illinois, had a 7% decline in hospital admissions systemwide in 2008, according to a report last month from Moody's Investors Service. Provena and outside consulting firm Wellspring Partners have implemented several "performance improvement" initiatives designed to save more than $70 million this year. The hospital is budgeting for a $31 million operating profit after posting operating losses in 2007 and 2008.