Skindell to Council: hospital is still very viable

State Senator Michael Skindell recently addressed Lakewood City Council about Lakewood Hospital’s future; cleveland.com has coverage here, and the Senator’s office has issued the following news release:

Senator Skindell Says There Is No Need to Close Lakewood Hospital

Calls on City Council to take immediate action to keep the facility open

Columbus – State Senator Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) is calling on Lakewood City Council to reject plans to close Lakewood Hospital in 2016.  Speaking at a city council meeting last night, Senator Skindell said there was no need to close Lakewood Hospital and called the closure plans misguided.

“This matter has been handled as if it was a private matter, but we are talking about a public matter, about a hospital which belongs to the people of Lakewood,” said Senator Skindell.  “The Mayor and Lakewood Hospital Association had a responsibility to the hospital and the people of Lakewood to determine the true value of the hospital and all property prior to going into negotiations to give away those assets.”

The Lakewood Hospital Association, Lakewood Foundation, Inc., and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation signed a letter of intent on January 14, 2015 to close the hospital. In opposing the closure, Senator Skindell has joined with area doctors in detailing how theCleveland Clinic Foundation has undermined the financial strength of Lakewood Hospital by transferring and eliminating services and by referring patients to other facilities.

“A review of the Ernst and Young audits of financial statements reveals that Lakewood Hospital has been given a clean audit opinion year after year,” said Senator Skindell.  “If Lakewood Hospital is not in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s long term strategic plan to be a viable hospital then Lakewood Council must develop its own plan to ensure viability and protect an important community asset.”

The Senator’s full remarks are also available.