Cleveland Clinic shies from commitment

The Cleveland Clinic has claimed an ongoing “commitment to Lakewood,” despite its campaign to escape its lease agreement and demolish the city’s hospital. Commitment, however, seemed to be the most elusive quantity when Clinic representatives addressed city council Thursday night.

As reported at,

Councilwoman Cindy Marx asked if Cleveland Clinic officials would guarantee Lakewood Hospital employees jobs elsewhere if the local hospital closed. [Clinic chief of regional hospitals Brian] Donley said the clinic looks to provide every employee in good standing who wants a job with a job somewhere in the Cleveland Clinic system or with a partner. However, after the meeting, he said that while the Clinic would make every effort to place every employee, he would not use the word “guarantee.”

Meanwhile, Clinic representatives boasted of how their proposed family health center would offer residents more services than Lakewood Hospital (from which the Clinic has been eliminating services). Despite which, “Clinic officials could not [specify] which specialties would be available at the Lakewood facility. That is yet to be determined.”

As reported in press coverage, Save Lakewood Hospital Chairwoman Marguerite Harkness voiced criticism of these important absences from the Clinic’s sales pitch. Others equally dissatisfied might contact city government, and encourage them to demand more than a rough outline before deciding the future of health care in Lakewood.