Premier Health to close Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton 

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 9:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 10:55 AM

Premiere health partners announces surprise move as part of their strategic vision plan

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.

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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.

RELATED: Good Samaritan Hospital closing: What we know now

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.

RELATED: Local leaders ‘saddened’ by announced hospital closing

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.

RELATED: 5 things you need to know about Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton

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.

RELATED: Premier Health, UnitedHealthcare have contract deal

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.

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Stanford students protest school, Brock Turner case

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 6:13 AM

Group holds protest at Stanford related to Brock Turner case

Students of Stanford University protested the school in connection with the Brock Turner case for the way the school planned to honor the woman he assaulted in 2015.

The group of student protesters read passages from a letter written by the woman known as “Emily Doe” to the court Friday. 

>>More dry time expected to start this week

“You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety.”

A plaque in “Doe’s” honor was to be installed, but the university reportedly refused to use her chosen quotes.

A Stanford University spokesman said two quotes could not be accepted because they would be triggering to survivors of sexual violence.

Turner spent three months in jail for the assault and lives in Greene County as a registered sex offender.

He appealed his conviction and has asked for a new trial.

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High water blocks some roads; troopers urge driver safety

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 1:54 AM
Updated: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 5:43 AM

Flooding causes driving concern in Miami Valley

Heavy rains made for tough driving conditions Saturday, but high water remains a concern through the weekend.

Lower lying and more rural roads are at a greater risk of flooding, such as Ohio 68 in Beavercreek, and Ohio 725, which is closed until further notice between Peniwit and Lower Bellbrook roads.

>> Swollen waterways prompt flood watch, warnings along Great Miami R., other spots

“We just want motorists to take a little extra time in planning where they want to go,” Sgt. Rod Murphy of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Anyone planning to head out this morning should be aware of potential flooding that could block your way.

If you see standing water in the roadway, turn around, even if the water appears shallow.

“It’s not worth the risk. It’s better to just safely turn around and find another way,” Murphy said.

Water pushing out of man holes between Xenia Avenue and Pritz Avenue in Dayton Sunday morning.

>> Kasich declares emergency over Ohio flooding

On wet roadways another concern is hydroplaning, when tires lose their grip on the pavement. Motorists in that situation are advised to “just let off the gas, slow down, and try to get to a safe area,” Murphy said.

Late Saturday and early Sunday there were reports of flooding throughout the Miami Valley.

3:27 a.m.: High water reported at Wilson Road between Fenner Road and OH-55.

3:05 a.m.: South Valley at US-35 is shut-down due to high water.

1:45 a.m.: April Lane at New Germany Trebien Road and Beavery Valley Road closed.

12:00 a.m.: Upper Bellbrook Road reported having high water.

12:00 a.m.: High water on US-68 and North at Sutton Road caused a vehicle slide off and a police cruiser was damaged.

11:30 p.m.: Hebble Creek was out of its banks in Fairborn in Greene County

11:17 p.m.: A flash flood in Lebanon in Warren County led to multiple road closures throughout the county due to high water, including Morrow-Milgrove Road, Lower Springboro and South Pioneer roads and Corwin Road.

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Dunkin' Donuts introducing Girl Scout Cookie-flavored coffees

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 5:34 AM

Girl Scout Sells More Than 300 Boxes of Cookies Near Pot Dispensary

If you like flavored coffee and Girl Scout Cookies, you might be in luck.

Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that by Monday, Feb. 26, it will be selling three new flavored coffees inspired by Girl Scout Cookies.

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Those flavors include Thin Mints, Coconut Caramel and Peanut Butter Cookie. These flavors will not just be limited to standard coffees.

Dunkin’ Donuts said in a Friday press release that iced and hot coffee, lattes, macchiatos, frozen coffee and frozen chocolate can all have Girl Scout Cookie flavors.

People on social media seem pretty excited about the news.

You’ll have to see for yourself if a Dunkin’ Donuts near you will be participating. If so, the coffees will be around through May.

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More dry time expected to start this week

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 4:52 AM

Counties under flood advisory until 10:30 a.m.:

Butler, Preble, Wayne (In.)

Counties under flood advisory until 10:45 a.m.:

Montgomery, Greene, Clinton, Warren

A pre-dawn shower is possible early today. Aside from that, there will be decreasing clouds and more afternoon sunshine with highs in the lower 50s. It’s also going to be a windy day with winds gusting over 30 miles per hour at times.

Quick-Look Forecast:

  • Flood watch continues through 10 a.m. today.
  • More dry time to start the week.
  • Rain returns Wednesday and Thursday.

>>WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

TONIGHT: A dry and cool night is expected. Temperatures will drop into the middle 30s.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny skies are expected with highs in the lower to middle 50s.

TUESDAY: We get back into the upper 50s with mostly sunny skies.

WEDNESDAY: The chance for rain returns in the afternoon and evening. Highs will be in the upper 50s.

THURSDAY: Rain showers are expected with highs in the middle 50s.

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