For Immediate Release —
There is good news and bad news today in Lakewood.
The good news is that Lakewood Hospital still stands, and a sworn affidavit from a successful healthcare operator states keen interest in bringing back the kind of healthcare facility that Lakewood deserves, far better than the one currently proposed.
The bad news is that Mayor Mike Summers has set himself up for serious political backlash as he has sanctioned the demolition of the parking garage across the street from the hospital, drawing on a check that Lakewood voters can cancel when they go to the polls on November 8th.
As part of the deal that closed Lakewood Hospital, public assets are to pay for removing the garage, to make way for a privately owned Cleveland Clinic medical center.
In total, officials’ 2015 deal reassigns more than 100 million dollars in public assets to the Cleveland Clinic for a mere 9.6 million dollars. It also released the Clinic from a 278 million dollar liability it owed the city. Mayor Summers spearheaded the deal, leaving Lakewood voters suspicious of special interests at City Hall.
This one-sided arrangement will end when a majority vote against Issue 64 terminates the deal and revives the original agreement. In the original lease, the Clinic agreed to run the city-owned hospital for 30 years and return it fully intact. There were 10 years left on the lease when city officials voted to end it.
There is a great deal of optimism that a majority will vote against Issue 64. Internal polling by citizen campaign workers who are talking to voters has revealed that citizens view the deal that closed the hospital as reckless and imprudent.
Under Issue 64 the garage site is to become a “Family Health Center” that is little more than an urgent care facility, incapable of treating strokes, heart attacks, serious head injuries and serous burns. It offers no substitute for the full service hospital that annually saw millions in profits until it was woefully mismanaged by the Clinic. The proposed facility will employ at most 150. The hospital employed over 1,000 at an average annual income of $59,000.
For questions and comments, our contact information is below.
Save Lakewood Hospital Committee