CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Clinic announced plans Monday to close Huron Hospital on the city's east side.
The news comes after an evaluation of the hospital by a committee of the hospital's board of directors and hospital leadership, according to a release from the Clinic.
The hospital will close in 90 days, but the facility will continue providing outpatient care until the new Huron Community Health Center is completed Oct. 3. Huron Hospital has about 850 employees, and they will all be offered job opportunities at another location within the Clinic health system, according to the release.
"This is a difficult day for Cleveland Clinic, but we are firmly committed to caring for this community and supporting our employees affected by this decision," Clinic President Delos M. Cosgrove said in a release.
Clinic officials plan to replace Huron Hospital services with the new health center, and the Clinic's main campus.
In the release, the Clinic named an overall decline in the local population, a shift toward outpatient care and the uncertainty of healthcare reform as factors in the decision.
Hospital officials and city leaders have debated for months about closing the trauma center of the hospital, but the Clinic decided to shut down the entire hospital. Cleveland and East Cleveland leaders opposed shutting down the hospital's trauma center because of the high volume of trauma victims that the hospital treats. Now, those victims will have to be transported a longer distance in emergency situations.
"In accordance with the settlement agreement between the Cleveland Clinic and the Cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, we have been engaged in what we believed to have been good faith negotiations regarding the ramifications of the closing of a level two trauma center at Huron Hospital," Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said in a release. "At no time did the Cleveland Clinic disclose their intent to close the entire hospital. In fact, when asked directly about the future of Huron Hospital, Clinic Officials stated that there was no intention to close the emergency room, let alone the entire facility."
"I am deeply disappointed that the Cleveland Clinic is abandoning a critical component of health care for thousands of constituents in Cleveland and East Cleveland by eliminating in-patient service in an area where it is desperately needed," Congresswoman Marcia Fudge said in a release.
The Clinic and city of East Cleveland will determine what to do with future use of the property.
Huron Hospital, founded in 1856, was one of the first hospitals in the city.