Cleveland Clinic also committed to provide Huron patients transportation to its main campus and three other hospitals, and Huron’s 850 employees will be actively recruited and job opportunities will be offered “for everyone who wants to stay within the health system,” according to the announcement.
The news was not well received by local politicians, including U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
“I am deeply disappointed that the Cleveland Clinic is abandoning a critical component of healthcare for thousands of constituents in Cleveland and East Cleveland by eliminating inpatient service in an area where it is desperately needed,” Fudge said in a news release. “While the opening of the Cleveland Clinic Huron Community Health Center in October is important for meeting the needs of residents, it should not be viewed as a replacement for emergency room care and inpatient medical care.”
Fudge met with clinic officials, including Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, its president and CEO, and then held a news conference outside of the hospital afterward. Clinic officials did not release details of the meeting. In an e-mail, hospital spokeswoman Eileen Sheile said the “meeting was informative, and we shared the reasons behind the closing and had an open discussion with community leaders.”
In a statement, Jackson said the clinic never discussed its intent to shut down the hospital emergency department and that the hospital received 3,000 ambulance transports in 2010, of which 800 were trauma victims. Contentious discussions to maintain the hospital’s status as a Level 2 trauma center also took place in 2003 and 2010.
“The Cleveland Clinic has left the city with little choice but to resume legal action in an effort to protect the public health and safety interest of our community,” Jackson said. “We, along with the city of East Cleveland, will begin reaching out to all affected parties to determine next steps.”