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Mayors Ask Court To Save Huron Hospital Trauma Center

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 5:59 PM

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The mayors of Cleveland and East Cleveland are jointly seeking an injunction barring the Cleveland Clinic from closing the center. The motion was filed Wednesday in Common Pleas court. ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

The mayors say that, given the tax exempt status the Clinic enjoys, it is obligated to maintain the Huron trauma facility in East Cleveland as part of the Northern Ohio regional Trauma Network. 

The Clinic’s plan to close the Level 2 center means longer transport times for patients to Trauma centers at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, or Metrohealth’s Level one center on Cleveland’s west side. 

E. Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton says those extra minutes could be the difference between living and dying for severely injured patients.  He says the Clinic is part of a partnership with the public sector.

NORTON:  “Without asking anyone, without telling anyone, without giving anyone a chance to prepare or examine the ramifications of the decision, the Cleveland Clinic decides to rip out one of it’s locations.  And it throws our ambulance system, our EMS systems out of whack - not just in Clebveland, not just in E. Cleveland, but in cities throughout Northeast Ohio.  It rips a hole in the net, the umbella that we have.”

Cleveland Clinic’s Toby Cosgrove said last week that tight staffing and declining numbers of patients to the unit made it difficult to keep up quality and attract surgeons.  he said he is committed to an ongoing dialogue to best figure out how to deal with the impact, but that hasn’t satisfied Norton or Jackson.  Norton says the cities are seeking a permanent injunction against closing the Huron center. 

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