LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - An emergency city council meeting was held Thursday night in Lakewood regarding the future of Lakewood Hospital.
Inpatient services at the hospital were shut down last week. One group is fighting to keep the in-patient services portion open.
Meanwhile the Cleveland Clinic is moving forward with plans to build a family health center in the hospital's place. The emergency room will remain during and after this transition.
About 100 people showed up to argue for keeping a portion of the hospital open. They have enough signatures to put the issue on the March ballot, but city council decided to delay a decision on the matter.
So how did we get to this point?
In January of 2015, the Cleveland Clinic and Lakewood Hospital trustees approved a proposal that would build a facility across the street. In December, city council approved a deal that would close the hospital and build that facility.
Last month, Save Lakewood Hospital delivered the petition to get the issue put on the ballot.
Before city council decides whether to put a referendum on the ballot, they have to vote on whether they will repeal their agreement with Cleveland Clinic. Members of Save Lakewood Hospital say that is not likely to happen.
"Citizens are upset. When we went out getting signatures, they congratulated us for all of the hard work they were doing. They were telling us how much they were against seeing the hospital closed. And we feel that when this goes to the ballot we're going to win," said Kevin Young with Save Lakewood Hospital.
The mayor of Lakewood said the agreement with Cleveland Clinic is about moving forward with the future of healthcare. He said the hospital was losing money.
"It'll result in a new state of the art family health center focused on primary care with all types of specialty care also being offered as needed in the community. And most of that is designed to address what are our true needs," said Mayor Michael Summers.
A time has not been set for the delayed vote. Officials say the ballot measure could wind up in the August or November elections later this year.
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