Twas The SLH Protest

By Marguerite Harkness

‘Twas the rainiest morning,
And out on the Street,
Stood legions of SLH folks,
Who wouldn’t be beat.

“Save Lakewood Hospital”,
They shouted out loud –
Save Lives, Save Jobs, and
Keep Lakewood proud!

The rain was relentless,
The puddles were deep,
The drivers were happy
To tell us “Beep-Beep”!

The Clinic cops were decent,
This we must say,
As we cleared the crosswalks,
And promised to obey.

Back home before breakfast,
Our coats soaking wet,
Our gloves and our pants
And our shoes were a mess!

Toby is bragging,
We heard with alarm,
He says Clinic’s flush,
Means Lakewood no harm.

But Clinic monopoly
In Lakewood’s own town
Means Lakewood’s economy
Is heading WAY DOWN!

A thousand of jobs,
And a ton of dough,
No inpatient beds,

10 Things About Lakewood Hospital

The following review of Lakewood Hospital facts is also available as a PDF you can download and print out.

1) Lakewood Hospital is Owned by the Citizens Of Lakewood. The land and buildings, every MRI, ultrasound, operating table, every piece of lab equipment—right down to each light bulb—are all owned by Lakewood residents.

2) The Clinic Leases the Hospital. There are 10 more years left on the lease.

3) A $400 Million Lawsuit Has Unearthed Secret Documents and testimonies revealing that the Clinic planned and implemented the destruction of Lakewood Hospital with empty promises to make the hospital sustainable for years to come. Dennis Kucinich explains in this video.

4) The Hospital Was Profitable until this year, even after the Clinic removed nearly two dozen services and departments beginning in 2007, culminating this past January with the closing of the cardiac catheterization lab. The Clinic said the state health department made them close this most profitable unit, which was not true. The City’s three representatives on the Lakewood Hospital Association (LHA) board did nothing. City Council stood by tacitly as the hospital was steadily emptied of valuable resources.

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What’s New?

Save Lakewood Hospital’s PJ Bennett provides a summary of recent news and interpretive context:

Three times now, the Mayor and LHA have turned down offers from entities interested in keeping Lakewood Hospital a hospital.

Pretty crazy, huh?  They are bound and determined to turn the hospital into rubble for a medical office bldg., an under-glorified ‘ER’ and some retail.  Wow.

Like I and many others have said, it’s all about the money.

Who in their right mind would refuse more money than what is being offered by Cleveland Clinic?

Anyway, here’s a link to a recent post on

Mayors in other cities are fighting to keep hospitals in their cities, while the Mayor of Lakewood is giving ours away.

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Heed the Call of a Pillar of Medicine: Don’t Do It Again!

From the Lakewood Observer Observation Deck Forum:

Post by Brian Essi » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:55 pm

Pillar of Medicine Award winner Terry E. Kilroy, M.D. is known by many thousands as a very dedicated physician who healed them and saved their lives. He has spent a great amount of his life in Lakewood Hospital. Each day, he gives the finest care to many–frequently without compensation. He is truly a great human being and a crown jewel at Lakewood Hospital.

What many may not know is that Dr. Kilroy was around in 1986 and in 1996 and warned City leaders and the rest of us back then of exactly what we are facing now.

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Questions That Need Answers

From the Lakewood Observer:

The Lakewood City Council needs to answer certain specific questions in order make a valid judgement regarding our future health care, specifically the CCF Letter of Intent to close Lakewood Hospital. These answers need to be based on accurate, unbiased and comprehensive data derived from impartial and independent sources rather than those released only by the Cleveland Clinic.

First, what are the hospital needs of the citizens of Lakewood and our service area (Zip codes 44107, 44102, 44111, 44116 and 44135)? The average need in Ohio is 2.6 acute care beds per 1000 population. This indicates a need for 135 beds (2.6/1000 x 52,000) for our citizens and a total of 400 beds for our service area. We need to know four things regarding our current needs: 1) What are the hospitalized medical diagnoses (ICD-9 codes) and surgical procedures (CPT codes) that led to current hospitalizations? 2) Which hospitals were utilized by these patients and with what distribution? 3) What is the trend over the past 10 years for these numbers? 4) What is the reimbursement for each of these diagnoses and procedures?
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JP Findlay’s Project

The producer of a short video (it’s been fixed again) of Lakewood firefighters commenting on Lakewood Hospital, JP Findlay also had this to say – in early 2015:

“Lakewood Hospital, in local Lakewood, Ohio recently announced it would be closing it’s doors at the end of 2016. A decision that has left many Lakewood paramedics uneasy, to say the least.

Owned by the city and occupied by the Cleveland Clinic since 1996, Lakewood Hospital has a current lease on the building it occupies until 2026. The hospital is a 233-bed inpatient facility, which boasts a comprehensive stroke center, emergency department and cancer center.

Lakewood Hospital is perhaps most well-known as a highly regarded neurology center.Read More

Elect Skindell for Mayor to save Lakewood Hospital: Sun Post Herald Letter to the Editor

The following is a letter posted on

Our State Senator, Lakewood resident and former Lakewood Councilman Michael Skindell, a candidate for mayor of Lakewood, has publicly stated Lakewood Hospital (which Lakewood owns) can and should be saved.

He is right, but his opponent, Mayor Mike Summers, publicly, wrongly states it should be closed, as Cleveland Clinic, which leases it till 2026, insists, because it does not want Lakewood Hospital competing with its new hospital in Avon. MetroHealth expressed interest in running Lakewood Hospital, but that proposal was sabotaged by Summers. Electing Skindell will give Lakewood a fresh start with MetroHealth and an honest effort to find a good partner to run Lakewood Hospital, even if it has less beds and adds a wellness center. Lawyers for the Save Lakewood Hospital organization suing in court to save the hospital have discovered documents proving Cleveland Clinic planned years ago to weaken and close Lakewood Hospital.

Legislation introduced Sept. 8 in Lakewood City Council by lame duck councilwoman Mary Louise Madigan and councilman Tom Bullock (both voted to close the hospital as its trustees) and councilman Sam O’Leary would, if passed, authorize Law Director Kevin Butler to negotiate with Cleveland Clinic to close Lakewood Hospital. It does not allow Butler to negotiate with MetroHealth or anybody else that wants to save Lakewood Hospital. So it is a dirty deal from bad intentions, to serve Cleveland Clinic. In Ward 3, Mark Schneider is running for City Council. He wants to save Lakewood Hospital – unlike his opponent John Litten, who voted to close it as a Lakewood Hospital Trustee.

In the November general election a referendum should be on the ballot, by Save Lakewood Hospital, for Lakewood residents to vote to save the hospital, despite certain untrustworthy politicians acting as puppets of Cleveland Clinic, and big business vultures who would profit by replacing the hospital with something less valuable to the Lakewood public.

Steve Gannis,


“Decanting” Lakewood Hospital

On June 21, 2012, three years before the plan to close and raze Lakewood Hospital was revealed to the public and beneficiaries of the charitable trust, Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) representatives met to discuss the decanting plan of Lakewood Hospital. (Ex. 2).

Under the decanting plan,

  • 30-45 beds from Lakewood Hospital’s nursing unit will be moved to Fairview Hospital;
  • 16 intensive care unit beds at Lakewood Hospital will be moved to Fairview Hospital;
  • Fairview Hospital will absorb 700-800 births per year from Lakewood Hospital;
  • 7,000-8,000 Lakewood Hospital inpatient emergency department visits will be moved to Fairview Hospital;
  • 1,315-1,773 inpatient surgeries per year will be moved from Lakewood Hospital to Fairview Hospital;
  • Lakewood Hospital physicians will be moved to Fairview Hospital and other CCF wholly-owned hospitals;
  • 12 geropsych beds will be moved from Lakewood Hospital to Lutheran Hospital;
  • Lakewood Hospital’s vascular laboratory will be moved to Fairview Hospital;
  • some Lakewood Hospital inpatient beds will be moved to Fairview Hospital;
  • and inpatient surgery and the catheterization laboratory at Lakewood Hospital will be moved to Fairview Hospital. (Ex. 1).

All of these services, employees, and equipment that have been moved and will continue to be moved away from Lakewood Hospital are City assets. More importantly, those assets belong to a charitable trust for the charitable purpose of providing high quality health care to the third party beneficiaries of the trust: City taxpayers and residents, Lakewood Hospital employees, and the general public.

The need for these medical services, including inpatient surgery, is demonstrated by CCF’s Master Plan for Fairview Hospital showing Lakewood Hospital’s 1,773 surgery cases being transferred (i.e. decanted) to CCF’s wholly-owned Fairview Hospital.

Read more here: 2015.07.31.01.Reply in Support of PI w Exhibits-2

Why saving Lakewood Hospital matters


We the residents of Lakewood, own the hospital and the equipment.  Cleveland Clinic does not own it.  The mayor does not own it.  City Council does not own it.  We own it.  It was originally established to take care of Lakewood residents and keep us well.

Our cardiologists tell us you have only 90 minutes from arrival at hospital, to getting the balloon in the artery (to save the patient’s life).  It takes more than 90 minutes if you are at Lakewood Hospital and Cleveland Clinic insists on transporting you to Fairview Hospital.  You might not make it.  Cleveland Clinic is ignoring the time of transport and pretending they can meet this time window.

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Rebuttal to Mayor’s comments on Channel 43

You can watch the Save LW Hospital Reply on Channel 19, online or:

Wednesday April 29 – Monday May 4

Wednesday April 29, 2015 (end of the 6 pm newscast)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 (end of the 10 pm newscast)

Thursday, April 30, 2015 (end of the Noon newscast)

Thursday, April 30, 2015 (end of the 5 pm newscast)

Thursday, April 30, 2015 (end of the 10 pm newscast)

Friday, May 1, 2015 (end of the Noon newscast)

Saturday, May 2, 2015 (end of the 6 pm newscast)

Saturday, May 2, 2015 (end of the 11 pm newscast)

Sunday, May 3, 2015 (end of the 6:30 pm newscast)

Sunday, May 3, 2015 (end of the 10 pm newscast)

Sunday, May 3, 2015 (end of the 11 pm newscast)

Monday, May 4, 2015 (end of the Noon newscast)