×

Question hospital in Howland wetlands

DEAR EDITOR:

I worked in hospital administration for almost 30 years in one of the larger multi-hospital systems in the country. During that time, part of my responsibility was new building programs.

Over the last year, I have read with interest the possibility that a new hospital might go behind the Eastwood Mall and replace a valuable forested / wetland ecosystem that provides many contributions to our health, such as clean water, air, natural flood control and other assets to the surrounding communities.

The abandonment of one hospital on the west side and now possibly another on the east side of Warren concerns me for reasons including maintaining a healthy local environment.

How will hospitals look in five years and how might that relate to the Enterprise Park Project?

Here’s near-future projections from the experts: The rapid growth of new technology, including new futuristic patient treatment modalities, will play a huge role in health care. More and more procedures will be done in outpatient settings. Smaller hospitals and suburban facilities will shrink and primarily handle urgent care, diagnostic work-ups, chronic illnesses and outpatient surgeries. Many complex inpatient procedures will be referred to large urban hospitals.

All these concepts will reduce the number of beds required in a community, especially one losing population. So, health care systems have always been very hospital-centric, but that’s going to change in the near future. Look for even more ambulatory facilities and fewer large brick-and-mortar, bed-oriented facilities.

What is the solution? MetroHealth, one of the big three hospital systems in Cleveland, is providing one of the best hospital visions in the country by re-imagining a new sleek hospital built in a large park-like setting at its current location. It will “rebuild-in-place” with minimal disruption, all while configuring half its previously used space to allow for much more green space on its campus.

MetroHealth’s president seems to have passion for social justice issues surrounding health care. He said, “We feel we have a higher calling than medicine. Our calling is overall health.”

Perhaps this example would interest area citizens worried about the loss of another hospital facility that has helped to serve western Trumbull County and could possibly move farther east on the other side of Mosquito Creek. Maybe local hospitals like Mercy Health’s St. Joseph Warren Hospital, which has more space potentially available to it than MetroHealth has, will think big like MetroHealth and re-imagine the land they already sit on.

We also urge the developer, who has always been generous to the community but picked a bad location here, to also think big and re-imagine a new win-win scenario.

JACK MULLEN

Howland

COMMENTS