DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) – The NAACP Dayton Unit announced at a press conference Saturday morning they've planned a community forum regarding the closure of Good Samaritan Hospital, where the community will be able to get questions about the potential impact answered.
NAACP Dayton Unit President Derrick L. Foward said they were “very saddened” when Premier Health announced plans to close the hospital by the end of 2018, but are looking at the positive elements that are to follow the hospital closure.
“We’re concerned about the employment, you know, the job opportunities, potential job loss,” Foward said at Saturday's press conference.
He said at a meeting with President and CEO of Premier Health Network Mary Boosalis and their Chairman of the Board of Directors Anita Moore, the unit was assured that there would be no job loss. Employees will still have a place within Premier Health Network, and those who choose not to stay within the company will receive a severance package.
Patients are to be transferred to Miami Valley Hospital, where the capacity to house patients is more than double that of Good Sam's, according to Foward.
Concern for the overall impact on the community was also addressed at the conference.
Senior Pastor Corey Cunningham, who works at the Inspiration Church just blocks from the hospital, said he was representing the thousands of churches in the community when he spoke on Saturday.
“Just over the course of two days, I’ve heard several people who’ve admitted to the fact that their survival was dependent upon being able to get to Good Sam in an amount of time," Cunningham said.
He added that some people within his church said they would not have been able to make it to another hospital like Miami Valley or Grandview Medical Center in time to receive proper treatment.
Both Foward and Cunningham are remaining positive.
“We’re where we are now. We can’t change the past,” Cunningham said. “Let’s just move forward and see how we can impact our community in a positive way.”
Foward stressed that “the main word here is ‘assurance,’” and that everyone associated with the hospital “would be taken care of” once the doors close.
Once they do, a majority of the building is expected to be torn down and redeveloped.
In addition to addressing the various concerns regarding the closure, Foward also called on the city government to put in place a Business Retention Plan, stating that the community is “bleeding with business loss.”
If you'd like to attend the community forum where Boosalis and Moore are set to speak to residents, it's planned for February 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Zion Baptist Church on Earlham Drive in Dayton.