Many Dayton residents vented their frustrations about the upcoming closure of Good Samaritan Hospital at a NAACP-hosted public forum over the weekend. The event was attended by more than 100 people, featured a question-and-answer period with Premier Health officials.
At the beginning of the meeting, NAACP President Derrick Forward was clear: the group’s position is that Premier Health should reconsider its decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital.
That sentiment was echoed by residents who spoke up during meeting. Many said it feels like the city’s West Side has been systematically disenfranchised, and that Good Sam’s closure will only further devastate the community.
Rosemary Peters Brane has lived in West Dayton for more than 50 years. She says during that time, she’s seen neighborhood businesses shutter, and watched as people left the area in droves. She told Premier officials that the closure would impact the health of the community, and urged them to reconsider.
“For us, it’s a decision of life and death," she said. "We’re not asking for a special privilege, we’re asking for the services we deserve.”
Premier officials said the decision was necessary for the health of the organization. CEO Mary Boosalis told the crowd changes in health care trends and population shifts have made Good Sam’s operation financially unsustainable.
The health-care group plans to close the hospital towards the end of 2018. Much of the site will be demolished. Officials say all of the hospital’s employees will be offered new jobs within the Premier Health network.
Residents are invited to offer their ideas about site’s future at additional community meetings on March 22 at 1 p.m. Fairview United Methodist Church or 6 p.m. at Fairview Pre-K through 6th School.