Crews are already in the process of removing medical equipment from Good Samaritan Hospital. The West Dayton facility shut its doors last week amid outcry and the opening of a federal civil rights investigation.
Now, Good Samaritan owner Premier Health is moving forward with plans to dismantle and demolish the complex over the next two years.
Many West Dayton health advocates had wanted to preserve the physical structure in hopes of attracting another hospital to the 13-acre site.
But Premier officials say deed restrictions enacted by the hospital group's board would bar another inpatient-care facility from moving onto the property.
Premier’s chief strategy officer Craig Self says a market analysis found Dayton could not support another full-service hospital at Good Samaritan's location.
“From an inpatient standpoint, if you look at our region, the community that Good Samaritan served, there are other hospitals within a very short driving distance of there,” Self says.
There are already too many beds, he says.
It’s an argument attorney Ellis Jacobs, from the firm Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. rejects.
Jacobs represents a coalition of westside activists who allege Good Samaritan’s departure leaves the neighborhood without access to needed medical care.
“There are 30,000 people that live right in the neighborhood of Good Samaritan Hospital and Premier cannot be allowed to abandon the urgent health care needs of people in that community," says Jacobs. "Premier needs to step up to the plate and provide a facility that can meet those urgent health-care needs.”
Jacobs says he’s hoping investigators from the United States Department of Health and Human Services will reach the same conclusion.
The Clergy Community Coalition in May filed a complaint with the civil rights division of HHS over Premier's plans to close Good Samaritan, saying the shutdown would jeopardize the health and safety of west side residents, especially African Americans and women who rely on the facility.
For now, Premier and city development groups are collecting community input on Good Samaritan’s redevelopment. A draft redevelopment vision is expected to be unveiled at a public meeting next month.
“We want to be purposeful, to look at the economic analysis, the conceptual ideas around the potential for redevelopment in the context of our Northwest Dayton community,” Self says.
Click here for information about the Aug. 21 meeting.