Hospital growth, competition adds to quality of life

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of residents in Trumbull County has increased every year since at least 2010, when the median age was 42.8. In 2017, Trumbull County’s median age increased to 44.4.

Of course, aging populations bring increased need for health care treatment options and facilities. That’s why Mercy Health’s preliminary plan to grow and expand here makes a lot of sense for both the company and the local population.

We are pleased to see Mercy Health considering new ways to fill voids, possibly with construction of a new medical facility in Howland.

Information released recently by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates that Niles-based Cafaro Company has applied for permission to clear an area of its sprawling Eastwood Mall Complex to make way for new construction of a medical office building, a medical education center, an assisted living and memory care facility, an office building, a mid-rise apartment building, a doctor’s office building and an additional building for Mercy Health’s St. Joseph Warren Hospital.

Officials now confirm that talks have been going on between Mercy Health and Cafaro Company for nearly two years.

This is good news for all who live in Trumbull County or those who seek health care here.

While we are profoundly disappointed with the impending permanent closure of Youngstown’s Northside Regional Medical Center set for next week, we still remain hopeful that growth and expansion in health care facilities in Trumbull County will provide new options for those seeking care north of Youngstown.

Indeed, Steward Health Care also has been making considerable improvements at Warren’s Trumbull Regional Medical Center since taking over there last year, and we are hopeful that growth and increased personnel levels continue at that facility.

Other local growth in the health care industry comes at Akron Children’s Hospital — albeit a hospital catering not to our aging population but to our area’s youngest residents — and adds significant value to quality of life in the Mahoning Valley.

Quality health care always is vital to a strong community. Competition, of course, drives all businesses to stay at the top of their game, improving and sustaining excellent service. That’s why we are so fortunate to have the value of more than one hospital chain in Trumbull County to serve our aging population.

And we are hopeful that the possible new construction and expansion by Mercy Health comes to fruition in Trumbull County.