CLEVELAND - The fight continues to try and stop the consolidation of trauma services from Huron Hospital to Hillcrest Hospital.
The city of East Cleveland, home to Huron Hospital, has now joined the battle to stop the move.
A group of religious leaders, including many pastors, have formed a coalition with political leaders in East Cleveland and Cleveland. The coalition met Tuesday to pray and to vent their frustration with Cleveland Clinic.
"I've come a long way thanks to the hospital here,” said East Cleveland firefighter Jonathan Alexander. Alexander has rushed many patients to Huron Hospital.
But in May, he was the victim of a gunshot wound during a home invasion and said Huron Hospital's trauma team saved his life.
"Had it not been for Huron Hospital's trauma center I would not be here today" Alexander said.
East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said moving the trauma center to Hillcrest in Mayfield Heights will add 16 minutes, on average, to trauma victim's being transported. The coalition plans to hold meetings and protests in hopes that Cleveland Clinic will have a change of heart.
"We're all proud of the Cleveland Clinic and the jobs it creates, but it brags about treating kings and sheiks and international heart patients, but when it comes to the east side of Cleveland, this is disinvestment" said Cleveland City Council member Mike Polensek.
In a statement, Cleveland Clinic reiterated it is investing in East Cleveland by building a $25 million health center at Huron and the Cleveland area has more trauma centers then 75 percent of major metropolitan areas, including Pittsburgh and Portland.
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