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MetroHealth Plans to Expand Beyond Cuyahoga County

A photo of MetroHealth main campus.
MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros says the goal of expansion is not to buy other hospitals but to fill service gaps in neighboring counties.

MetroHealth System announced plans to expand beyond Cuyahoga County following a change in state law passed earlier this year.

The state legislature in June passed a bill that mainly concerned physician licenses and how nurses can order mental health evaluations.

But the bill also contained a section on county hospitals, which now have the power to expand into neighboring counties. For MetroHealth, that means Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit counties.

CEO Dr. Akram Boutros said the plan is not to acquire other hospitals but to offer services, including emergency or rehabilitation to fill service gaps in Northeast Ohio.

“If what we end up doing is doubling in our size in the next two to three years that absolutely could be getting too big, too fast, too soon. That’s not our aim,” he said.

MetroHealth is considering five locations outside of Cuyahoga County for additional facilities. The process should take three to nine months, and any decisions would need approval from the hospital’s board, which is appointed by county council.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.