Lakewood city officials and the Cleveland Clinic have agreed on a deal to close Lakewood Hospital and replace it with a family health center. The Cleveland Clinic, which runs the in-patient facility, says the in-patient hospital cannot keep operating because it loses millions of dollars each month. But as WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the effort to keep it open will not end.
Tom Monahan is head of the citizen’s group “Save Lakewood Hospital” which is fighting to keep the hospital open as an in-patient facility. He says if Lakewood City Council approves the agreement on Dec. 21st as expected, the group’s fight will continue with another referendum to block the closure.
“We will be out on the street on Dec. 22nd. We have 40 days to collect about 3,500 signatures or more. We’re going for as many as we can because so many of the signatures are thrown out for one reason or another, so we’re trying to almost double the required amount to make sure we’re safe. And so it’ll go back on the ballot, hopefully in March.”
Last month, Lakewood voters narrowly defeated a similar referendum. A Cuyahoga County judge is also deciding whether to hear a lawsuit filed to keep the hospital open. Monahan says if the judge throws it out, his group will appeal.