Not a done deal yet: Residents voice concerns about Lakewood Hospital agreement

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio--  Over 50 people wearing red shirts met before a special Lakewood City Council meeting Monday night.

"We got the agreement and we've broken it down. Now we are talking to the residents who want to know more about it in ways they can understand," said Kevin Young, with the 'Save Lakewood Hospital' committee.

Those in the committee are emotional after last week’s announcement that city council, the Cleveland Clinic, and Lakewood Hospital Association had reached an agreement to close Lakewood Hospital and open a 24-hour emergency clinic and family center in its place.

"Looking at the deal, it's a horrible deal. It's an absolute giveaway to the Cleveland Clinic," said Young.

Before the agreement is a done deal, it must be read during city council three times.

Monday night, leaders read it for the second time.

They also talked with the residents and explained that the new agreement allows for 24-hour emergency care and even saved taxpayers money.

"So that the city can over a period of 3 to 5 years, find a new use for that, whether it's medical office or some kind of office in the existing building, whether that's redevelopment of part or all of the building," said Tom Bullock, council-at-large.

But resident after resident voiced their concern on the details of the agreement and the decision to open the new health center and ER in Avon.

"Losing that hospital will blow a $280 million dollar hole in the economy of this city. We won't be able to withstand that. We will lose services and other things that we love about this town," said Young.

As for the Cleveland Clinic, they maintain they are committed to providing healthcare for the Lakewood community for the long term.

Meantime, city officials hope to vote on the deal after its third reading December 21.

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