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Lakewood Hospital supporters expect a referendum in March on closure
They say they have enough signatures for a ballot issue that could reopen the hospital
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Lakewood voters should have a chance to vote on keeping the city's hospital open.
Courtesy of KEVIN NIEDERMIER
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Lakewood residents should have a chance to vote on the city’s decision to close its hospital and replace it with a family health center and emergency room. The group “Save Lakewood Hospital” says it has collected more than enough signatures to put a referendum on the March ballot to keep it open. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the group is fighting last month’s Lakewood City Council approval of a deal with the Cleveland Clinic to phase-out the hospital.

LISTEN: Hospital supporter on effort to keep it open

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The Cleveland Clinic, which runs Lakewood Hospital, says the current facility isn’t financially viable and the family health clinic is a better alternative. The Clinic will stop admitting patients on February 5th. But Kevin Young of “Save Lakewood Hospital” says the city needs a full-service hospital, and if voters approve the referendum there is time to reopen it.

“Yeah, we can definitely turn this around. The hospital will be standing empty and all its assets will be there. If we can turn this around in March we can open the hospital again.”

Young says if the issue passes they want to open the bidding process to other health care providers interested in running the facility as a full service hospital. He says Lakewood city officials rejected previous proposals that could have kept it open. Last November Lakewood voters narrowly defeated a similar ballot issue to stop the closure.

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