Lakewood Hospital Plans Transition to Family Health Center & ED

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The Lakewood Hospital Association (LHA) and the Lakewood Hospital Foundation (LHF) have  signed a Letter of Intent with Cleveland Clinic for plans that call for a $120 million investment in Lakewood to transition from the current model to a future one which will modernize healthcare and deliver a more sustainable way to meet the long-term needs of the Lakewood community.

Under the proposed plan, which will require approval by Lakewood City Council, a health and wellness campus will be created. As part of this, Cleveland Clinic will construct, own and operate an estimated $34 million, 62,000-square-foot family health center, which will include a full-service emergency department, to replace Lakewood Hospital in the future. The new facility will include primary care and specialty programs concentrated on diabetes, geriatrics and cardiac care, among others, in addition to radiology and lab services. Additional services will be determined based on the needs of the community and a public discussion that will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

It is the intent to keep Lakewood Hospital open and running until Avon Hospital opens in September 2016. Lakewood Hospital’s emergency department will remain open and many outpatient services will continue to be provided until the new family health center with its own emergency department opens in Lakewood. Assurance of safety and quality of care for patients will drive every decision and will determine the length of time the hospital will remain open.

Employees at Lakewood Hospital will be needed and hiring will continue to occur at Lakewood Hospital. In addition, Cleveland Clinic has capacity throughout its enterprise and it is the leadership’s goal to provide every Lakewood Hospital employee who wants a job with an opportunity in its health system or one of its partner organizations. Cleveland Clinic will work closely with its employees and help them transition into jobs throughout its health system at the appropriate time.

“This is good news for our community and a great first step in transforming the healthcare services available in our city,” said Mayor Mike Summers. “The Lakewood Hospital Association trustees have been very proactive about addressing this issue, working with consultants and healthcare providers to find a solution that will keep quality healthcare in Lakewood. We are delighted to maintain this important hub in our downtown and know it will be an important asset to the city’s continued revitalization.”

Under the terms proposed in the Letter of Intent, the city maintains ownership of approximately four acres of property on the hospital site, along with the parking garage and office buildings.

The plan to create a new health and wellness campus was reached after an extensive evaluation process. Lakewood Hospital Association trustees worked with consultants and conducted a Request for Proposal (RFP) from healthcare providers both nationally and locally. In addition, the plan took into consideration the 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment, a review of the hospital’s aging facilities, some of which are nearly 100 years old, the decrease in patient volumes and the dramatic shift in the way healthcare is delivered.

In Lakewood’s 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment, stakeholders asked for: access to preventive care; an environment that is supportive of healthy habits; physicians that are readily available to residents; and services to promote residents’ awareness about healthy living. This plan is designed to promote healthy living and address the community’s specific health needs.

Based on these findings, the plan proposes a new way to deliver healthcare that would give Lakewood residents better access to care and serve more people in the future.

“We spent a great deal of time studying various alternatives and are very pleased with this agreement,” said Tom Gable, president of the Lakewood Hospital Association. “The old model is no longer sustainable in this changing healthcare environment. This investment demonstrates a significant commitment by Cleveland Clinic to ensure that our residents will receive the care they deserve.”

As part of the Letter of Intent, more than $32 million will be invested to fund a community-based foundation to oversee and support community health and wellness activities in the City of Lakewood and throughout the primary and secondary service markets.

“Enhancing health and wellness through philanthropy has been the sole focus of Lakewood Hospital Foundation since its inception,” said Ken Haber, president of the Lakewood Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees. “With this announcement, our intent remains the same and we look forward to being part of the potential transformation into a community-based health foundation that will expand the benefits for residents of Lakewood and our neighboring communities.”

In addition to building a new family health center with an emergency department and investing in the plan, there are several other initiatives Cleveland Clinic is committed to doing as part of the Letter of Intent, including:

  • Purchasing the medical facility located at 850 Columbia Road in Westlake and continuing to operate services currently located in the facility, including a broad range of medical and surgical specialties.
  • Relocating its Family Medicine Residency and Center for Family Medicine program from Fairview Hospital to Lakewood, which will expand access to primary care and help to address the need for chronic disease management and wellness.

“Healthcare in America is in the midst of an unprecedented transformation and the way care is delivered to patients is rapidly shifting from inpatient hospital care to outpatient and home care,” said Toby Cosgrove, M.D., President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic. “Our goal is to best meet the medical needs of the Lakewood community for today and the future. Cleveland Clinic is committed to providing access to the extensive healthcare resources needed most and we are very proud to be the city’s healthcare partner for the long-term.”

For 18 years, Cleveland Clinic has partnered with the City of Lakewood and the Lakewood Hospital Association, which own and operate Lakewood Hospital. Cleveland Clinic’s role has been to manage Lakewood Hospital under the direction of the LHA Board and provide the healthcare services within the hospital through the end of 2026. In addition, Cleveland Clinic also provides other outpatient services in Lakewood.

After the outpatient family health center opens, Lakewood residents will continue to have convenient access to multiple nationally ranked Cleveland Clinic inpatient hospitals, including Fairview Hospital (3.3 miles away), Lutheran Hospital (5.7 miles away), and, for their most complex healthcare needs, Cleveland Clinic’s main campus (13.3 miles away).

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