Open letter: Let Lakewood Hospital Thrive

A Lakewood resident writes about her hopes for the city and the importance of voting against Issue 64:

Lakewood should resolve our hospital issue for the highest good for the most people, be more imaginative about growing our city and do what it takes to find a better partner than Cleveland Clinic for our city’s community hospital.

Lakewood needs our full-service hospital for healthcare for our citizens and jobs in our community.  We won’t be laughing if our city is bankrupt with no substantial economic engine and no security for our citizens. We can still come out with good healthcare for our citizens if we stop this trajectory of giving everything away to Cleveland Clinic. Voting AGAINST 64 can stop the poor agreement City Council and Mayor Summers made with Cleveland Clinic. If stopped, we can begin a genuine Request for Proposals for a small inpatient hospital in our city-owned facility.

Razing the hospital then handing land to the city planning department and developers is irresponsible. It would be better if developers in Lakewood are experts at renovation and repurposing. We have many beautiful, vacant buildings. Lakewood is the wrong city for continuous tearing-down, and building new cinder block buildings. Lakewood Hospital is in very good condition. Go take a tour yourself and see. Lakewood Hospital was a great anchor, strengthening the city and offering real care to the citizens. Lakewood must court businesses to use our existing storefront stock.Cleveland Clinic and City Hall are being deceptive, then covering it up with PR campaigns and excuses. It is bad for a business to be expert at milking every dollar out of patients and insurance companies, with departments that work at finding the loopholes in every situation. It seems wiser to put energy into doing great work.

We should all treat each other with respect and kindness. At the most basic levels, we are all the same. Every business, in order to thrive, must value others. If CCF can’t honestly, respectfully work with Lakewood, then leave Lakewood be. We will be a cooperative ally, seeking the best for all patients.  We can find the right partner that will run a small hospital in our city with integrity. CCF won’t be hurt by honoring the right of our city and our people to have our full-service hospital here. CCF is big enough. Maybe it is habitual to strive to grow big, bigger, biggest and make the most money, but it takes more strength and dedication to master and hone your skills at serving your patients well and fairly.

By now, most people see through the paid US News and World Report (and other venues) ratings. CCF does great work, why don’t they continue to nurture that and back off of the empire building? If CCF quietly does their great work, a great reputation will precede them as it had in the past. The relentless growth and trampling on communities are destroying a reputation which had already been built by their past quality. For hospitals to follow the corporate model is soulless and not sustainable. Doing a job very well and fairly, while treating customers and employees with respect, kindness and honesty is more priceless than power and money.

Melissa Nautiyal