Why You Should Vote Against 64

“The ER at Lakewood continues to be a community asset and will remain that way if it is supported by the community.”

This is a direct quote made by Fire Chief Scott Gilman on the Lakewood Observer’s Observation Deck on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

“…..if it is supported by the community.”


So, it is up to us, the residents, to support the ER?  

Now, how do we do that?

Gilman makes the ER sound like a local storefront that we should patronize.

Are we to drop-in at that facility on Belle Ave. for every bump and bruise we get, so as to show our support?

Notice that Gilman makes no mention of Cleveland Clinic/EMS supporting the ER.

Which of course, we know won’t happen, because EMS has direct orders to take patients to facilities that are connected to hospitals.

And, since Lakewood does not have a hospital, EMS will not transport anyone there.

As Charlie Brown would say, “Oh, good grief!”

Now, for all you folks who still believe that Lakewood has a fully-functioning ER, like the back of your water bill tries to convince you of, let me tell you otherwise.

Recently, one Lakewood resident was transported by EMS to Fairview Hospital, only to find that FGH was so filled to the gills, that despite having a life-threatening situation, the wait time would be hours.  

The solution? To life-flight this individual to Cleveland Clinic’s Main Campus.

Wow. First, this person has been transported over Cleveland’s patchy roads to a HOSPITAL (something that Lakewood used to have), only to be air-lifted elsewhere.  Forget about stabilization. Sure, maybe the vitals were stable, but think about the person’s overall system.  

Have you ever ridden lying down in the back of a van? There’s that speed up, slow down, braking, speed up, jarring, go around the corner thing that makes for an uncomfortable ride.  

Now, let’s add physical trauma to that mix; it’s enough to make the system go haywire.

(And, what is the cost for a helicopter ride? Who is responsible for that cost?)

A few months ago, a Lakewood man was sitting in his car while parked at the curb directly across from Lakewood Hospital. A driver plowed into him, causing an injury to his forearm. He told EMS that he wanted to go to Lakewood Hospital. “We were told to not take anyone there anymore,” was the response he received.

He was taken to FGH.

“Healthcare is changing.”  

We have all heard that ad nauseum.

The thing is, the nature of diseases has not. Nor, the need for on-the-spot, not-a minute-to lose, life-saving techniques.  

Interestingly, the Save Lakewood Hospital group has been referred to as a bunch of old people - several times; and yet, many in the group are younger than the Mayor, several of his supporters and a member of city council.

My point is not to call out the fact that they are all 60-something, but rather that their body parts are aging right along with the rest of us. The odds of something serious happening are shortening. 

In a recent conversation with an SLH supporter, I related that I personally knew of two physicians, who were vegetarians, non-smokers and firm believers in exercise.  

One collapsed while jogging. The other was found dead on his treadmill.

Both were in their 50’s.

The last I heard, the one who collapsed while jogging was being moved to the country of his birth, where relatives would provide for his needs. He was permanently bedridden and totally incapable of caring for himself.

Shock waves had reverberated throughout the medical community as the news of the catastrophic outcomes of these renown, highly-respected physicians spread. 

In the time it takes to snap your fingers, you or someone dear to you, can have collapsed and be in dire need of aid. It is not all about nutrition and exercise. It really isn’t.

Council-At-Large Cindy Marx has publicly lamented in an accusatory tone, that not everyone used Lakewood Hospital.

That’s right, Cindy. We didn’t. We couldn’t. Because with every insurance plan, even Medicare, there is a Providers Directory that lists those physicians and facilities that are covered by that plan. To go outside that provider list results in paying substantially more, since they are non-covered.  

When my husband suffered an aneurysm in 1998, Lakewood Hospital was not a participating facility. However, due to a social worker’s intervention and the emergency nature of his trauma, the bill was reduced from being in the six figures, to something more manageable. (We still qualified for a tax break that year.)

So now, the hospital is gone. The plan is to consolidate physicians into one location only. Choice is gone. 

Either use a Cleveland Clinic provider, or drive to another town.  

I used to walk less than one mile to see my allergist. Now, I have the displeasure of driving to Middleburg Hts, where he relocated after essentially being forced out of Lakewood. (He did not sell his soul to the Cleveland Clinic; he is an independent.)

So, I urge you to Vote AGAINST 64. The deal that the Mayor and city council made for the City of Lakewood is a bad one, in many ways. The only ones to gain will be the developers.

Do you really want your local government and a money-hungry corporate business to make decisions about your healthcare? Everyone deserves a CHOICE!

You have nothing to lose by Voting AGAINST 64, because well…. there is nothing left to lose. There is no hospital. There is no real ER. 

And, don’t forget that “if” by Gilman. There is absolutely no promise that the so-called ER will remain open. 

He is making it ‘your’ responsibility to support it.  

What you have to gain by Voting AGAINST 64, is the reopening of negotiations to provide a better deal for Lakewood’s 51,000 residents and those in neighboring areas.  

Vote AGAINST 64.

PJ Bennett has lived in Lakewood for 44 years.

PJ Bennett

I have lived in Lakewood for 44 yrs.

Read More on Lakewood Health Care
Volume 12, Issue 20, Posted 5:03 PM, 09.27.2016