Mayor to Premier Health: Halt Ohio hospital demolition amid HHS probe into planned closure

Dayton (Ohio) Mayor Nan Whaley on July 17 called on Dayton-based Premier Health to delay its planned demolition of Good Samaritan Hospital pending the completion of a federal investigation into its closing, according to the Dayton Daily News.

The Clergy Community Coalition filed a complaint with HHS' Office of Civil Rights in May arguing the Dayton-based hospital's closure, scheduled for July 23, will "have a discriminatory and separate adverse impact on African Americans and women" and violate the ACA's Civil Rights Act, the report states.

The complaint states residents for whom Good Samaritan is the closest hospital are 75 percent African-American. By closing the hospital, Premier Health would be creating a "health desert" for community residents, a lawyer representing the clergy group said during a press conference July 16.

The lawyer added Premier Health initially said it planned to shutter the hospital no later than Aug. 29. However, the health system hastened the date to July 23, prompting HHS to expedite its investigation.

"In light of the now opened federal investigation regarding the closing of Good Samaritan Hospital, I call on Premier to commit to not demolish or disable the buildings on the campus until this investigation, all legal proceedings and the community planning process are complete," Ms. Whaley said July 17.

A Premier Health spokesperson told the Dayton Daily News Good Samaritan's emergency department is still scheduled to close at 12 p.m. July 19, and its complete closure is still scheduled to take place July 23. The spokesperson added that the health system cannot comment on the complaint.

Premier Health initially revealed plans to shutter the hospital in January, stating the hospital has been operating at half capacity for some time and that many of the same services are available at its other Dayton-area facility, Miami Valley Hospital.

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