City Council Responds to Questions About Health Care in LakewoodDecember 12, 2015
Lakewood City Council will answer questions and provide more opportunity for public comment on the agreement reached recently with the Cleveland Clinic that defines and ensures the delivery of health care services in Lakewood.
The lengthy document known as the “Master Agreement Among the City of Lakewood, Lakewood Hospital Association and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Regarding the Future of Health Care Services in the Lakewood Community” is available for public review on the City’s website, along with the ordinance in front of City Council.
“If you read the document closely and thoroughly, you will understand why Council decided to vote on it before the end of the year,” says Council President Mary Louise Madigan. “There is a clear imperative to act quickly before there is any further deterioration of City assets. Urgency is also required to maintain 24/7/365 emergency medical services in our community. We must put an end to the divisiveness that has plagued Lakewood during the past year. We must begin 2016 with a deal that allows this City to heal, move forward, and truly become a healthier place for people to live.”
This ordinance before Council comes after more than 11 months of diligent and deliberative study and negotiations, concluding with three public readings and a final vote. Terms of the agreement allow for the creation of a new outpatient health facility in the heart of downtown Lakewood, and the repurposing of city-owned property where the current hospital sits for new economic development.
“Local healthcare is very important to our community,” said Lakewood Mayor Mike Summers. “Two major objectives must be met: We must have services that advance the health of our citizens, and it must be financially viable near and long term. We all agree that our community should make a big investment to update our local services. This investment should support where the future of healthcare is headed, not where is has been.”
Many questions continue to be raised about the terms of the agreement and its implications for access to health care services. Council and the City Administration will provide as many answers as possible at tonight’s Council meeting, and up until the anticipated vote on December 21 through the City’s website and other opportunities to communicate with residents.