In her State of the City address earlier this month, Mayor Nan Whaley called health care a priority for the city. The recently announced closure of Good Samaritan Hospital was a key issue in the mayor’s speech.
Now, officials with Five Rivers Health Centers say they hope to expand services at an existing clinic to treat more patients affected by the loss of Good Sam. The health center was founded in 2011 and currently operates at nine locations in the Dayton Area.
To learn more about Five Rivers’ plans and how they could help West Dayton residents, WYSO's Jerry Kenney spoke with Five Rivers founder and CEO Gina McFarlane-El. She says Five Rivers will start by surveying the community about their needs.
Premier Health in January announced it will close Good Sam later this year.
“The commissioners and I are very concerned about health access for the residents who live in the northern and western parts of Dayton and Montgomery County," Whaley said in the address.
Premier Health President and CEO, Mary Boosalis, said in an interview with WYSO at the time Good Sam's closure was announced, “We could not, on a long term basis, sustain two high-acuity hospitals that are only five miles apart.”
The reaction from residents affected by the decision was immediate and emotional.
A statement issued by Premier Health, regarding the closing, stressed that resources would be directed instead to its other facilities:
Premier Health’s strategic plan encompasses the entire organization and calls for continued investment in higher acuity services and critical programs at Atrium Medical Center. It also remains committed to ensuring Upper Valley Medical Center remains the leading ambulatory and surgically focused community hospital in its region. In the central part of the service area, Premier has moved forward with a previously announced Phase 3 plan to expand Good Samaritan North Health Center, including an additional 46 inpatient beds, along with elective orthopedic joint and spine services, to be completed later this year. Future phases of expansion are to be actively assessed for opportunities to best serve the community.