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Kucinich: ‘Secret plan’ was developed to close, demolish Lakewood Hospital

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- Some strong words were thrown around Lakewood Monday with opposing views on the closing of Lakewood Hospital. 

The Cleveland Clinic is planning to close the hospital, which has served the community for 108 years. It was announced earlier this year the inpatient care hospital would shut down and move to Avon.

Hospital administrators said Lakewood Hospital has been operating at a loss since 2005.

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich Monday called on people to demand change, saying the plan for the hospital just isn't right.

Monday, he said recent documentation shows the Cleveland Clinic and its steering committee plotted a secret plan that would dismantle and demolish the hospital.

"This is as matter of life and death for many residents of Lakewood, as the elimination of emergency services at the hospital would produce life-threatening transportation delays for people," Kucinich said.

He claims the Cleveland Clinic hobbled tens of millions in unwarranted charges for services to make it appear Lakewood Hospital is unable to make a profit.

The Cleveland Clinic released the following statement Monday:

“Cleveland Clinic has been proud to manage Lakewood Hospital for nearly 20 years. Currently, healthcare in the United States is facing unprecedented changes. We were pleased that our proposal was chosen to transform the way healthcare is provided for all residents in the City of Lakewood that is sustainable for the long-term future.

We will continue to work through this process with the Lakewood Hospital Association and the City of Lakewood leadership. Our commitment to the Lakewood community remains strong and we have continued to honor and follow the contract to operate the hospital for the City of Lakewood. We hope this litigation does not compromise the thoughtful process that is underway, so all Lakewood residents can receive high-quality, healthcare that meets their needs well into the future.”

At 7 p.m. Monday, Kucinich will also host a community forum at Lakewood Public Library.

Read more here.