City Council Members Look Forward to Healthcare Future in LakewoodDecember 12, 2015
Lakewood City Council is considering a new master agreement designed to ensure the availability of high-quality health care in the city of Lakewood. The agreement comes after nearly one year of fact gathering, feedback from the public, a general election, and negotiations between the City, Lakewood Hospital Association and The Cleveland Clinic.
The agreement involves a multi-million dollar investment in Lakewood that transitions health care delivery from a “sick care” hospital inpatient model to an innovative, contemporary and sustainable outpatient health and wellness approach.
Along with a 24/7/365 emergency department, the health care needs of the Lakewood community will be met.
Here’s what members of Lakewood City Council have to had to say, in their own words.
For months, members of this City Council have educated themselves on health care issues here and around the nation. We’ve heard from experts. We’ve certainly heard from our constituents. We have been given the responsibility of making the best decision possible to ensure the health of our community. -City Council President Mary Louise Madigan
Any decision is a matter of finding a balance between the costs and benefits or risks and rewards. We have now struck that balance which mitigates the risks and minimizes the costs while maximizing the benefits or rewards. I look forward to taking this step forward so the full potential of the site can be realized and we can put to rest the uncertainty throughout the past year. -Ward 3 councilman Shawn Juris
I am pleased we have reached an agreement to provide uninterrupted health care delivery to our residents. The Cleveland Clinic will make the Lakewood Family Health Center a model for population health management in the region and provide a magnet for other businesses keen on doing business in a City committed to changing the culture of health. -At-large councilwoman Cindy Marx
From the moment that the original letter of intent was introduced this past January, I have been thinking about the very real danger that Lakewood could end up with the worst-case scenario: no emergency room, and an empty shell of a building at the corner of Belle and Detroit. I am convinced that if we do not consider this proposal, we will end up with that worst-case scenario. -Vice President of Lakewood City Council Ryan Nowlin
This new agreement funds our future and a vibrant new downtown district… I’m looking forward to this proposal helping to maintain and enhance the vibrancy of our downtown commercial corridor for the next 100 years. -Ward 2 councilman Sam O’Leary
Although saying goodbye to Lakewood Hospital is painful, swift action is necessary, since the Hospital is losing more than $1 million each month—or more than $35,000 every day—so does not have time to wait. The value of a deal that can be implemented right away is even greater, since it stops these losses immediately—which means more money is saved for community health care going forward. -At-large Councilman Tom Bullock
This deal is by far stronger for Lakewood than the original letter of intent. We conceded on some points; the Cleveland Clinic conceded on some points. For example, the Clinic now bears the responsibility of the financial risk for the transition to the family health center and emergency room. This is considerable. -Ward 1 Councilman Dave Anderson
City Council will consider the agreement during three public readings, commencing on Dec. 7 and most recently on Dec. 14. Council is slated to meet again Dec. 21. Since the agreement involves real estate transactions, Council’s approval is required before elements of the agreement can be launched.