Ex-Congressman Kucinich's Comments On Save Lakewood Hospital

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Jim O'Bryan
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Ex-Congressman Kucinich's Comments On Save Lakewood Hospital

Postby Jim O'Bryan » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:44 pm

any typos, blame on me.


Dennis J. Kucinich
Save Lakewood Hospital
Lakewood, Ohio Monday,
September 21, 2015

Lakewood Hospital has been the focal point of one of the most Important community struggles anywhere in America. The people of Lakewood have come together to insist on their right to keep and to protect their Lakewood Hospital, which has served our community for 108 years.

This morning I stand with the Save Lakewood Hospital and those in support of their efforts as a continuation of eighteen years of service to the Lakewood community, two in the State Senate and 16 years in the US House.

The operation of this hospital has been a century-long practice of the healing arts, of mercy, of charity and love. Generations in Lakewood have been served and saved by the talented medical and support service staffs. In addition, families from Cleveland, Rocky River, Bay Village and Lorain have all used Lakewood Hospital's medical services.

Today Lakewood Hospital is in a pivotal battle to determine whether it will survive as a community hospital

It is said by those supporting the closing of the hospital. that it is losing patients and losing revenue and cannot financially sustain itself. But a careful analysis of record, together with documents which recently surfaced in a law suit, will show that Cleveland Clinic engineered a steady decline of Lakewood Hospital, one that can be reversed.

Here is some background: In 1996 Cleveland Clinic and the Lakewood Hospital Association, which is an extension of the Clinic's management, signed a "Definitive Agreement" for the Clinic to manage and operate Lakewood Hospital, through 2026.

In 2007 and 2008 the Lakewood Hospital Board of Trustees approved a Master Plan that would result in a new hospital. That proposal was submitted to Cleveland Clinic to approve funding for a $69 million, 245 bed facility.

In 2009 a plan called the "Vision for Tomorrow” was announced by the Clinic and its Lakewood Hospital Association. The plan was specific. Lakewood Hospital's future would be protected through the establishment of medical centers for excellence in geriatrics, orthopedics, neurological service and for the treatment of diabetes and endocrine conditions

In Consideration of the promises specified in the "Vision for Tomorrow. In 2010 Cleveland Clinic gained approval from Lakewood City Council to move pediatric and trauma services out of Lakewood.

The Council passed a resolution which read, in part, "The City and Cleveland Clinic aspire and commit to provide appropriate services suitable for the Lakewood Community and to maintain the near and long-term viability of Lakewood hospitals."

In recognition of the assurances it received, Council's resolution from lune 10, 2010 further states:
“The citizens of Lakewood and the elected officials have been assured continued, active participation in key decisions impacting the Vision for Tomorrow Plan and related Centers for Excellence for the duration of the lease term."

"The city joins Lakewood Hospital Board of Trustees in giving public cognizance and support to the Lakewood Hospital Vision for Tomorrow plan including its Centers of Excellence emphasis as described in the April 6, 2010 letter from Cleveland Clinic leadership to the City of Lakewood."

But, based on documentation only recently produced through the law suit, from 2007 to 2012, the Clinic and its steering committee shockingly plotted a secret plan which, if implemented, would dismantle and demolish the same Lakewood Hospital.

Additionally, the Cleveland Clinic hobbled Lakewood Hospital with tens of millions in unwarranted charges for administrative services to make it appear Lakewood Hospital is unable to make a profit.

Recent court action has produced documents proving the dismantling plan was "secretly under consideration at the very same time that representatives of CCF were providing public assurances and pronouncements as to the long term sustainability of Lakewood Hospital."

Here are copies of documents which recite the promises of the Clinic to Lakewood, and here are copies of secret, confidential documents of the plan to destroy the hospital

The proof in these documents demonstrates a remarkable record of duplicity which demands public attention, media scrutiny and a full explanation from Cleveland Clinic. [Distribute documents].

In light of this new information, City Council should intervene in the law suit and file a brief supporting the citizens of Lakewood.

Furthermore, Council should take legal action to compel the Clinic to build the new hospital it promised Lakewood, along with the placement of the promised "Centers of Excellence" in the new Lakewood facility.

In the alternative, Council should investigate Cleveland Clinic's conduct with respect to Lakewood, particularly since council was induced to pass legislation to permit the Clinic to move vital pediatric and trauma services from Lakewood, in exchange for a new hospital with new services.

Even as we approach the November election, behind the scenes efforts are underway to close the hospital, at the very time evidence is emerging of broad deception. No action should be taken to close Lakewood Hospital without a vote of the people.

If Council were to rush ahead with the closing before the election, I would personally insist on a Grand Jury investigation of the whole matter.

Repeating, now that this new information is on Lakewood's public officials to put a halt to any plans to dose the hospital and to join the citizens’ law suit which seeks damages for the underhanded attempt to shut Lakewood Hospital.

As more information is brought forward, the people of Lakewood have a compelling interest in passing the Lakewood Hospital charter amendment to protect their rights.

Finally, I call your attention to an unsigned letter, dated Iuly 3, 2014 from the Mayor of Lakewood to Dr. Brian Donley, President of CCF regional hospitals in which a protest was lodged over the Clinic's plan to build a 60-bed facility 20 miles west of Lakewood.

This happened while Lakewood Hospital received $3.7 million of money through the Lakewood Hospital Association and Lakewood Hospital Foundation monies to improve the rehabilitation services.

The mayor stated in the letter that rehabilitation services "delivers approximately three million dollars of contributions to the financial performance of Lakewood Hospital" and the absence of the monies would be "devastating.”

The letter concluded the service losses "are in violation of the letter and spirit of the definitive agreement between Lakewood Hospital board of trustees and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. This was an appropriate statement from the Mayor of Lakewood.

However, only six month later Mayor Summers said Lakewood Hospital should be closed.

Why in the world did he say that? When did the Mayor know that Cleveland Clinic's intention was to close Lakewood Hospital? Why would the Mayor ratify Cleveland Clinic's tactics? What does he think of the new evidence brought forward?

What happened to the letter the Mayor wrote to Cleveland Clinic protesting the damage to Lakewood Hospital's rehabilitation services?

Why would the Mayor allow the transfer of a portion of the $120 million asset, which belongs to the people of Lakewood, to Cleveland Clinic in exchange for relatively paltry compensation.

Why would the Mayor not seek another operator for the hospital in an effort to keep Lakewood open? Why would he turn his back on Metro Hospital?

Why would the Mayor, in a letter of intent with the Cleveland Clinic and the Lakewood Hospital Association, agree confidentially not to negotiate with any other hospital system, essentially giving the Clinic a privileged, non-compete position from which to close Lakewood Hospital?

Is this not a violation of public trust? The Clinic intends to close the only hospital in Lakewood, which also happens to be the city's largest employer, with 1,688 workers in 2014 Lakewood Hospital brings $300 million in yearly economic activity. Is not the city's attempt to close the hospital a betrayal?

The only way to explore the secret dealings on the part of Lakewood officials is for the law suit to go forward and for Cleveland Clinic and the Lakewood Hospital Association to be compelled to produce documents responsive to the law suit.

Unfortunately, at present moment, the Clinic and the Lakewood Hospital Association are stonewalling attempts at discovery of their documents relating to the secret plans to close Lakewood Hospital.

Like many Clevelanders, I personally appreciate Cleveland Clinic. Its CEO, Dr. Delos "Toby"Cosgrove, is dedicated, hardworking and innovative. He is trying to protect his plan for the future of Cleveland Clinic, just as we are gathered here to protect our plan to secure the future of Lakewood Hospital.

But our effort goes far beyond questioning the growth strategy of a large hospital system. We gather here on the principle that the people of Lakewood have a right to their community hospital, and no organization, nor public official, no matter their intention, has any right to deprive the people of their community hospital. We stand here upon this principle.

The people of Lakewood have every right to expect that Clinic officials would deal with them in a forthright manner, which is why the disclosure of recent court documents is so troubling. This breach of trust can and must be repaired for the sake of the people of Lakewood and the sake of the Clinic's reputation.

Enter Save Lakewood Hospital to save the day. The people  have organized and activated to defend Lakewood's political, legal and economic rights.  

Their efforts resulted in the charter amendment, to be voted on this November which will put any final decision on Lakewood Hospital in the hands of those who are most effected by any closing - - the people of the City of Lakewood.  

This is a matter of life and death for many residents of Lakewood, as the elimination of emergency services at the hospital would produce life-threatening transportation delays for people in critical condition seeking urgent care.  

Citizens of Lakewood have filed a lawsuit to block the closing. The Save Lakewood Hospital committee has worked  courageously to challenge the Cleveland Clinic's intentions and  to expose the tactics of its local extension, the Lakewood Hospital Association.  

The citizens of Lakewood have also challenged their own Mayor and those members of Council who want to close Lakewood Hospital. If we can anticipate Cleveland Clinic to  stand up for Cleveland Clinic, we should expect Lakewood officials to stand up for Lakewood.  

Save Lakewood Hospital and the people of Lakewood deserve the support and the appreciation of the community for taking a dedicated stand for continuing a 108 year tradition of access to full-service health care in Lakewood, and I am here to back  them up. Thank you.  

Dennis ]. Kucinich contactkucinich mail.com  

Jim O'Bryan
Lakewood Resident

"The very act of observing disturbs the system."
Werner Heisenberg

"If anything I've said seems useful to you, I'm glad.
If not, don't worry. Just forget about it."
His Holiness The Dalai Lama
alesia trowbridge
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Re: Ex-Congressman Kucinich's Comments On Save Lakewood Hosp

Postby alesia trowbridge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:34 pm

Thank you Dennis Kucinich for helping the people of Lakewood get Lakewood Hospital back. Power to the People!!

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Jim O'Bryan
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Re: Ex-Congressman Kucinich's Comments On Save Lakewood Hosp

Postby Jim O'Bryan » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:48 pm

Photos from today's Hospital meeting.

Alex Belisle:



My photos, Jim O'Bryan

What I would call the under card fight
Senator, this is nothing but grandstanding!

No, this is about the residents of Lakewood, and making sure...

Our Councilman Bullock like a shark, makes his move, stepping in front of Michael Skindell, at the Dennis Kucinich
conference to assure all of the cameras, This is grandstanding,


Hmmmmmmm, he might have a point?

It was like old times watching WKYC's Tome Beres asking Kucinich tough questions.




Jim O'Bryan
Lakewood Resident

"The very act of observing disturbs the system."
Werner Heisenberg

"If anything I've said seems useful to you, I'm glad.
If not, don't worry. Just forget about it."
His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Marguerite Harkness
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 10:42 am

Re: Ex-Congressman Kucinich's Comments On Save Lakewood Hosp

Postby Marguerite Harkness » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:48 pm

Jim, thank you for posting Congressman Kucinich's complete remarks from his Monday press conference.

cameron karslake
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:35 am

Re: Ex-Congressman Kucinich's Comments On Save Lakewood Hospital

Postby cameron karslake » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:39 pm

Yes, it was nice to be able to read them later that day, before the community forum, so I was up to speed. Thanks Jim!

Powerful stuff!

Photos are crazy good too!

m buckley
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:52 pm

Re: Ex-Congressman Kucinich's Comments On Save Lakewood Hospital

Postby m buckley » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:12 pm

What would really be impressive is if Tom Beres would muster the guts to ask The Cleveland Clinic and LHA some tough questions.

" City Council is a 7-member communications army." Colin McEwen December 10, 2015.
Bridget Conant
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Re: Ex-Congressman Kucinich's Comments On Save Lakewood Hospital

Postby Bridget Conant » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:18 pm

Mainstream media in Cleveland is corrupted. None have ever challenged the mighty Clinic. Fact is, the bigwigs are all golfing buddies.

Only local media like the Lakewood Observer and the Scene have the cojones to publish anything near the truth because the Clinic does NOT want the truth out there.

It ruins their "image," just like McDonald's. :lol:

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