Cleveland Clinic will delay the closing of Huron Hospital’s level II trauma center in East Cleveland, Ohio, for at least 90 days.
By JAMES W. WADE III
Cleveland Clinic will delay the closing of Huron Hospital’s level II trauma center in East Cleveland, Ohio, for at least 90 days. In October, the Clinic announced plans to close Huron Hospital's trauma center and consolidate it into Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
This original announcement upset Mayors from the City of Cleveland and East Cleveland along with many residents and Councilman from both East Cleveland and the City of Cleveland. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11) had called for a meeting to discuss the decision with Cleveland Clinic last month.
In a meeting with Cleveland City Council, Cleveland Clinic Hospital Toby Cosgrove said that the current plan to move Huron’s Level II trauma center to Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights has been talked about for some time.
Cosgrove also said that about five years ago, Clinic officials were interested in upgrading Huron’s Level II center to a Level I trauma center and brought that proposal to the Cuyahoga County commissioners.
The Cleveland Branch NAACP released a statement “The NAACP understands the issues and concerns of the community, and is honestly concerned about the closing of the Huron Road Hospital trauma center without the required study of the current emergency/trauma deliver “framework” in our community and without meaningful discussion and “buy-in” by the community, community leaders, and partnering emergency/trauma service providers.”
Last week, the mayors of Cleveland and East Cleveland filed a motion of injunction against Cleveland Clinic, claiming the Clinic’s plan to close the trauma center would be devastating to residents’ well-being. EMS Commissioner Ed Eckart said the trauma center’s closure would result in increased response times for 911 calls.
Dr. David Bronson president of the Cleveland Clinic Hospitals said the closing of the trauma center won’t result in any significant job loss; that employees at Huron will have the option of relocating to Hillcrest Hospital, which is absorbing Huron’s trauma center into its own. According to Bronson, Hillcrest Hospital, roughly 8.5 miles from Huron, has a better emergency room and better access to the highway than Huron.
Bronson also added that the Cleveland Clinic has trouble recruiting staff at Huron. “For a lot of reasons, some are obvious, some are less obvious. People want to work with the latest technology in the newest centers and be associated with those people doing the same thing,” Bronson said.
Huron Hospital sees about 28,000 patients in its emergency room each year, a small percentage of whom require trauma care. Many East Cleveland neighbors expressed concern over the trauma center’s relocation.
On Nov. 1, Congresswoman Fudge and Cleveland Clinic President & CEO Delos “Toby” Cosgrove met with approximately 30 community and faith leaders to discuss the issues surrounding Huron Hospital’s Level II trauma center.
In a meeting at the InterContinental Hotel and Conference Center, the group had a productive discussion and committed to ongoing dialogue.
Together, the Congresswoman and Dr. Cosgrove agreed to the following: Delay implementation of the consolidation of Huron’s Trauma Center to Hillcrest for at least 90 days from today -- Better understand the impact on emergency first responders including Cleveland Emergency Medical Service, East Cleveland Emergency Medical Service, and other suburban transport providers -- Better understand the overall impact on MetroHealth Hospital related to patient volume, operations, and resources necessary.
Also present and participating at Monday’s meeting were Dr. Gus Kious, President of Huron Hospital, Dr. David Bronson, President, Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals and Dr. Anthony Stallion, Pediatric Surgeon and Chairman of Community Relations and Diversity.
Participants also agreed to reconvene in approximately 30 days to discuss progress. This is the second time in the past two years that the Cleveland Clinic has consolidated trauma centers. In a similar move, Lakewood Hospital’s trauma center combined with Fairview Hospitals.
MetroHealth Medical Center will continue to function as Cleveland’s level one trauma center, taking in the most serious of cases. Though Huron maybe losing a trauma center, the hospital is gaining a new community health center in October 2011. The center will focus on chronic disease care.