Reality check: Our hospital

The people of Lakewood owned Lakewood Hospital, along with all of its property, tangible assets, licenses, cash and investments.

Founded in 1907, Lakewood Hospital became a municipal institution in 1930. Decades later, the city assigned oversight of the hospital to Lakewood Hospital Association (LHA), which leased the hospital to the Cleveland Clinic. The hospital eventually acquired signs declaring it “a Cleveland Clinic Hospital.” But the 1996 agreement made it clear that the hospital and its assets were leased from the city, and would still belong to the city at the end of that lease.

The full lease agreement is a dense document, but a press release from the City of Lakewood spelled out what the new lease would do, plainly and simply:

  • “Protects the City of Lakewood’s ownership of current property and any future acquisitions by LHA.”
  • “Guarantees that all assets (property and cash) revert to the City of Lakewood at the end of the lease term.”

A deal that ends this lease early and returns anything less than 100% of all hospital assets to Lakewood is a terrible deal. The deal that closed Lakewood Hospital gives away all but a fraction of the hospital’s assets.

That deal is on this fall’s ballot as Issue 64, with two choices. For, or against.

Our public hospital’s assets and property belonged to us, and to the future generations who will follow us. Giving it away betrays the Lakewood of today and tomorrow. We owe it to our future to vote against Issue 64.

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