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Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 9:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 10:55 AM
— A city that has had its share of economic body blows took another one Wednesday with the news that Good Samaritan Hospital will close its doors by the end of the year and move 1,600 jobs out of the northwest Dayton neighborhood where it has served as an anchor for nearly a century.
The shocking news, announced Wednesday morning by Dayton-based Premier Health — Good Samaritan’s parent network — caught employees and city officials off-guard as few outside of Premier’s office suites apparently saw it coming.
“Not only was Good Sam an economic anchor to northwest Dayton, but they also were a neighborhood stabilizer,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein. “We are gravely concerned about an exit of that anchoring presence.”
Premier said its goal is to offer all employees other positions in the company. But that isn’t much solace for the neighborhood around the massive complex, which was first constructed in 1928 and added onto many times since.
The satellite locations – Good Samaritan North in Englewood and Good Samaritan Health Center Huber Heights – will stay open. The hospital’s federally qualified health center that is on site will also remain open, which officials said is a busy ambulatory center with primary care and as well as some specialists.
Premier CEO Mary Boosalis said the emotional decision to close the hospital wasn’t an easy choice.
“On a personal note, I can tell you that this is the most difficult but necessary decision that most of us ever have to make,” she said, adding: “The consequences of inaction are far too great because we know the status quo is unsustainable in this environment.”
Premier officials said the aging Good Sam campus is expensive to keep up and duplicates many services five miles from Miami Valley Hospital, another Premier-affiliate. The population in the surrounding neighborhoods are declining and the hospital is operating at half capacity, with Premier already shifting beds to other hospitals in the system.
Premier — the region’s largest private employer — operates three other hospitals and a large physician network goal.
But like other hospital networks across the country, Premier has been betting that their future isn’t more hospitals; it’s outpatient facilities and smaller health care centers.
The typical hospital stay has been getting shorter and the number of people needing to be hospitalized is down. Premier’s hospitals in Dayton are at about 50 percent capacity.
Declining reimbursements and a tumultuous health care climate in Washington, D.C. also have hospital systems like Premier feeling squeezed.
“Dayton, Ohio, is essentially a microcosm of the pressures you see in our industry nationally,” Boosalis said.
The 2222 Philadelphia Drive hospital campus is aging and Boosalis said it would cost more than $90 million or more to keep the facility up to code over the next decade.
Premier will also save about $7 million to $8 million annually in operating costs by shifting services to other hospitals.
Boosalis said by closing the hospital now instead of later “we’re doing this now from a position of strength so we can be around for another 125 years.
“I think the worst thing our board and myself could do would be not to pay attention to the factors in this industry and ignore the facts and then be in a crisis mode.”
The goal is to move major services to Miami Valley Hospital and avoid duplication of services.
The board of trustees has approved a “significant” donation to the site for redevelopment so the goal is to make it shovel ready with the exception of the remaining buildings and work with the community on the future of the location.
All the buildings will be razed with the exception of the federally qualified health center and the parking garage.
Premier plans to have meetings with community leaders, focus groups and surveys as part of its outreach activities while it makes a plan for the future of the Good Samaritan site. City Wide Development and Planning NEXT, a design firm based in Columbus, are working with Premier on the site plan.
“The input of the community is not only wanted, It’s absolutely critical as we work together to transform Good Samaritan Hospital as we go forward,” Boosalis said.
Bryan Bucklew, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said there’s been huge changes in the health care delivery trends and health care policy that have shaped how hospitals make infrastructure decisions.
The average length of a hospital stay was 11 days in 1975, a little over 6 days in 2008, and then by 2015 was down to an average of 3 days.
“So in just six or seven years, you’ve decreased your length of stays by almost 49 percent,” he said.
On top of that, about 79 percent of patients in the Dayton area pay with Medicaid and Medicare, so dramatic policy changes and uncertain future of health care of those government insurance programs all shake up local hospitals.
Bucklew said said it’s important that the local hospital networks are all non-profits and locally headquartered, with trustees who live in the communities affected by their decisions. He said Premier is still being mission-minded when weighing decisions like closing Good Sam and if the hospital networks were instead for-profit, the community would feel the negative affects during tough financial times.
“If these organizations were run like for-profit entities, there would be whole service lines that would go away. No one would get into mental or behavioral health. No one would get into detox centers,” he said.
Scott McGohan, CEO of McGohan Brabender, the largest local employee benefits firm, said the employers he works with want to lower the cost of health care and part of making health care more affordable is making tough decisions like closing Good Sam.
“As we pepper these institutions to lower health care costs … it’s hard to condemn them for making these decisions,” said McGohan.
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:43 PM
DAYTON — It’s any parents, and kids, worst nightmare. Strangers, trying to bust down the front door of a dayton home, just minutes after parents left for work, and their 11-year-old kids home alone.
Dayton police have opened an investigation. A security camera on a neighbor’s house on holly avenue in dayton captured the faces of two men, wearing lanyards, going door to door. They avoided homes with visible security cameras.
They moved on to the house where two kids were home alone. They began banging on the front door for approximately ten minutes, according to a Dayton Police report. Then the men began thrusting their shoulders against the door.
"When you do that to our front door, our whole house shakes, so our kids were pretty upset,” said Christina Baine, the children’s mother.
Her two kids never approached or opened the door, just as they were taught.
“After a few times of doing that, he did retreat and leave," added Baine.
Surveillance video is the best lead police have to go on right now. We’ve blurred their faces because they have not been charged with a crime. When we showed the video to neighbors along Holly Avenue, the remembered the men walking the sidewalks and thought they looked suspicious.
Now the Baine family has installed its own security cameras.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 11:36 PM
REGION — UPDATE @ 9:05 p.m: Eaton police confirm they have increased patrol the past couple of days after threats of violence were made against community schools.
Officials were not able to specify at this time which school(s) were threatened or the manner in which the threats were made.
Parents and students were notified of the threats through a phone call.
UPDATE@6:30 p.m. (Feb. 22)
A 10-year-old boy who threatened to bring a gun to school at Piqua Central Intermediate School has been charged, Piqua Police Chief Bruce Jamison said Thursday.
The boy, who is not being named because he’s a minor, was charged with false alarm, a first degree misdemeanor, Jamison said.
The boy told students at the bus stop Wednesday that he would bring a gun to school Thursday, prompting officers to take action, the chief said.
UPDATE @ 3:15 p.m.
The threat at Miamisburg High School was found not to be a credible one, Superintendent David Vail said. “We didn’t feel there was any imminent danger and it was not a viable threat,” he said Thursday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, with social media it snowballed and induced a lot of panic.” The district is taking action with a handful of students who were discovered to be part of the threat or who posted information on social media that “may have increased or perpetuated the panic or misconception of what was going on,” he said.
Vail said it is unclear at this point whether those singled out will be criminally charged or be disciplined under district guidelines only. No students were removed from school property on Thursday, he said. But he noted officials were still in the process of meeting with all of the students thought to be involved.
The district on Thursday made calls to all parents of high school students informing them that the threat was found not to be credible, Vail said.
Contending with “social media is certainly sometimes an uphill battle,” he said. “We would like people to confirm things before they spread them.”
At the same time, Vail said district officials encourage anyone who sees suspicious activity or hears anything that may pose a danger to make sure it is reported.
UPDATE @ 2 p.m.
In Miamisburg, more police officers were at the high school Thursday after a threat that was discovered on a bathroom wall the day before, according to Miamisburg Police Department Sgt. Will Ring.
The unspecified number of officers at the school were in addition to the district’s school resource officer. Ring indicated that no arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing.
Piqua, Miamisburg, and Springfield police investigated threats made by students.
The latest threat came Thursday morning with a post on social media threatening a shooting at Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center.
Springfield police are aware of the threat and have increased patrol at the school. Officials have also spoken with the school’s Superintendent about the threat of violence.
No word on if parents or students were informed of the threat, as a Springfield CTC representative could not be reached for comment.
Miamisburg police Sgt. Joshua Himan said a threat of violence was found written on a bathroom wall at Miamisburg High School on Wednesday.
No one has been arrested yet, and Miamisburg police and schools are investigating.
There will be extra patrols at the school Thursday, Himan said.
The threat referenced "tomorrow" but it's unknown how long it was on bathroom wall.
In Piqua, Police Chief Bruce Jamison confirmed his office is investigating a threat that involved a student whom attends Piqua Central Intermediate School.
Jamison though would not reveal any specifics about the threat, including whether it was against a school or individual or referenced any weapons.
Piqua police were made aware of this threat Wednesday afternoon and "eliminated the threat,” Jamison said, by ensuring it could not be carried out. He declined to elaborate.
Jamison said there have been increased police patrols at Piqua schools since the school shooting in Florida last week.
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:24 PM
DAYTON — Dayton police arrested an 18-year-old man after a failed robbery attempt at Table 33 restaurant in downtown Dayton.
According to a Dayton Police report, just after 5 p.m. Thursday, a man in camo pants and a red shirt grabbed a female bartender by the arm and ordered her twice to open the cash register.
The woman refused both demands and the man ran away.
A Dayton officer spotted the suspect a short time later on Salem Ave.
The officer gave chase and arrested the man a mile and a half away from the restaurant near the 700-block of Salem Ave. He was arrested and taken to the Montgomery County jail.
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM
DES MOINES, Wash. — When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.
But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.
The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.
With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.
He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.
As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.
Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.
While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital.
He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.
As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.
"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.
The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.
"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.