Lakewood Council Approves Closing the City's Hospital
Lakewood City Council gave its approval last night for the city to close Lakewood Hospital and turn the century-old facility into a family health clinic and emergency room. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier has this report on the contentious decision.
The Cleveland Clinic, which has been running the city-owned hospital as a full-service facility, says it is hemorrhaging money and the change is necessary. Under the deal, the city of Lakewood will sell the hospital to the Clinic which will convert it into an out-patient facility.
Many Lakewood residents have objected to the closure, saying it takes away treatment for serious illnesses and injuries. And they say City Council forged the deal without proper public input.
Yesterday, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge rejected an effort to block council’s closure vote. But, the spokesman for the group, “Save Lakewood Hospital,” Kevin Young, says they will start gathering petitions today to give residents a chance to vote on City Council’s decision.
“So it’ll be a referendum we’ll be aiming to get on the ballot in March. It’ll be an up or down vote: Do you want to keep the hospital or not.”
Last month, Lakewood residents narrowly rejected a similar ballot issue to block the closure.