Local groups push back on Premier Health CEO's plans for new ward

Premier Health's CEO Michael Riordan is facing pressure from local groups in Dayton, Ohio, over plans to open an urgent care facility, WYSO reported July 19.

Premier Health is planning to build an urgent care center, physician's offices and provide space to nonprofits like a YMCA on the site that once housed the 577-bed Good Samaritan Hospital, which was closed in 2018. Services shifted to Miami Valley Hospital, about five miles away from Good Samaritan.

Local residents and community groups are opposing the new plans, which have been approved by the city's planning board, and spoke their minds at a July 18 town hall meeting. They argued that what the local community really needs is a maternity ward and emergency room. A local clergy group has drawn up a petition to stop the development, saying that Premier Health has built developments in white, suburban neighborhoods all the while shutting down health services in the mostly Black region of West Dayton.

"These people need medical care," said Rebecca Holbrook who spoke at the meeting. "We need our babies to be born healthy. And we don't need clinics that close at 5 o'clock, and then we've got to go downtown to Miami Valley Hospital."

Mr. Riordan said he hears the community's concerns, but the only way to build up to creating larger wards in the area is to start with the proposed development.

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