The FIGHT FOR GOOD SAM
DEC 2017 – Premier Health Partners (PHP) purchases Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) from Catholic Health Initiatives.
JAN 2018 – PHP announces the closure and demolition of Good Sam within a year, citing a deed restriction that would prohibit any other healthcare facility at the site.
Community responds with clergy, community organizations and activists, concerned neighbors, and citizens from all over the West Side of Dayton gathering to demand that City and County officials put a stop to the closure.
From then to now, those gathered, under the Clery Community Coalition (CCC), have held protests and town hall meetings to rally against this injustice and the current lack of adequate healthcare on the West Side.
MAY – The founding members of the CCC, along with ABLE law, file a Federal Complaint with the Health and Human Service’s Civil Rights Department. The complaint asserts that the closure and demolition of GSH will have a racially discriminatory impact against African-Americans and women, in violation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
JULY 23rd – PHP closes the hospital 6 months early.
Dayton’s Mayor Nan Whaley makes one public statement asking PHP not to demolish the hospital until the complaint has a resolution. Mayor Whaley never attempts to create an emergency ordinance, a court injunction on the property, or to legally delay or negotiate for another healthcare provider to purchase the facility.
JULY 24th – Internal demolition starts, quietly, one truck at a time. Over 8 months, nurses’ stations and sinks are torn from the walls, surgical suites, operating rooms, birthing rooms, physical therapy pods, cafeterias, and cafes are all torn away.
NOV – The CCC and ABLE law hold a press conference to add a Supplemental Complaint to the existing HHS complaint. Included is evidence in maps and newspaper articles that shows PHP is only building hospitals and medical centers in affluent white communities with a higher concentration of privately insured patients.
DEC – Representatives Jim Butler (R), Representative Fred Strahorn (D), NAACP Director Dr. Derrick Foward, and CCC President Rev. Dr. Rockney Carter held a press conference to introduce Ohio House Bill 780.
The bill “addresses situations in which a hospital network operating under our laws as a nonprofit, charitable enterprise refuses to allow another hospital operator an opportunity to take over an abandoned hospital within a community, and in this particular case, a greatly underserved community.”
APRIL 2019 – External demolition begins in earnest.
The first building demolished was the award-winning Heart Hospital, built-in 2010. Demolition creates an environmental disaster for a minority residential and school community surrounding the site.
MAY – JUSTICE COMES TO DAYTON!
Three Federal Investigators arrive and stay for 3 days, collecting 600 testimonials and performing 127 interviews on how the closure of Good Sam has affected the lives of people in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The investigation confirms that West Dayton, a community that has suffered desperately from divestment, is now, not only a food desert but a healthcare desert.
5 of the 127 people interviewed
JULY 30 – With the active HHS Federal Investigation ongoing and the negative report from Moody’s Bond Rating Reports, Montgomery County Resolution 19-0976 to authorize $590 million dollars in Hospital Revenue Bonds for Premier Health Partners is approved by Montgomery County Commissioners Lieberman and Dodge.
This vote and approval of bonds are in complete opposition to Ohio Revised Code 140.02, which states that Hospital Revenue Bonds can only be issued for the financing of hospital facilities that are, “…available to or for the service of the general public without discrimination by reason of race, creed, color, national origin…”.
Approximately $390 million received was used to refinance existing debt, while $200 million dollars is still set to be used for new construction.
OCT – A well-crafted response by ABLE Law is sent to the County Commissioners and the Attorney General of Ohio challenging the issuance of these bonds.
Shortly after, Premier freezes use of the remaining $200 million dollars in bonds.
We continue to monitor the situation.
Mayor Nan Whaley holds a fundraiser with Premier Health Partners’ CEO & President Mary Boosalis who is part of the fundraising board and contributor to her re-election campaign.
CCC protests this relationship and the appearance of collusion because of the lack of Mayor Whaley’s response to the closure and the environmental catastrophe created by the demolition of Good Samaritan Hospital.
To Present – CCC members have met with the Dayton EPA, RAPCA (Regional Air Pollution Control Agency), and Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County.
EPA had not followed through with onsite reporting until we notified them -one year after the start of demolition, an entire building already demolished- EPA finally visits the site. Two violations are issued.
RAPCA has fulfilled the regulations mandated by the state with on-site reports, especially with asbestos mitigation. However, the regulations are not thorough enough with an elementary school, playground, and residential neighborhood downwind.
When asked to provide a site-specific air-quality monitor, concerned with the particulate matter and health of residents and students, we are told it is too expensive and not available. After follow-up questions, we were told to contact the EPA.
When asked if the particulate matter found on houses and cars could be tested, we were told that asbestos comes off of car breaks and it could not be assumed it came from the demolition site.
When we spoke about the poor air quality at the site, especially as it is compounded by the drought the region experiences, we were told people can go and stay with family and friends if the air quality gets too bad.
CCC continues to fight: speaking out at City and County meetings weekly, holding rallies and protests monthly, and fighting to ensure the HHS complaint is taken seriously.
JOIN US! FIGHT FOR HEALTHCARE FOR ALL!