Community members gather to protest Good Sam closing

Local News
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As the protests continue against Premier Health’s decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital, a small group gathered to chant and hold up signs outside Premier Health’s downtown Dayton headquarters Friday.

Local pastors and community leaders gathered at the main office of Premier Health on North Main Street Friday morning. The demonstration was organized by the Clergy Community Coalition.

A small group attended the rally, and it lasted about 30 minutes.

Thursday was the last day for births at the hospital at Salem Avenue and Philadelphia Drive.

Miami Valley Hospital has reopened its Berry 1 unit to make room for the additional patients.

“You’re telling me that now, people in our community that are pregnant, and their babies are at risk because the mother’s health is poor when she got pregnant in the first place, cannot go to Good Samaritan Hospital?” said Bishop Richard Cox of the Central Baptist Church in Jefferson Township.

Cox said he believes it’s important that church leaders take action.

“The churches are going to be hurt,” he said. “The chronically elderly ill in our churches are going to be affected by the removal of this hospital from our community.”

“There’s an urgency in our message,” said Rev. Rockney Carter, president of the Clergy Community Coalition.

Rev. Carter said now that the hospital’s closure is set for August, his group is organizing weekly protests.

Carter said he believes their voices are being heard.

“We want to keep the pressure on them to let them know that the community is active enough to continue to fight for those who are hopeless, to continue to be a prophetic voice for those who are speechless,” Rev. Carter said.

A Premier Health spokesperson sent 2 NEWS a statement, saying, “We respect the right of citizens to participate in a peaceful protest. We continue to work with community members to identify the possibilities for redevelopment of the Good Samaritan Hospital campus on Philadelphia Drive.”

The group is encouraging people to join them at another protest next Friday outside Miami Valley Hospital. A demonstration is also set for Friday, April 27 at Good Samaritan Hospital, Carter said.

The Clergy Community Coalition has spoken with Premier Health officials and hopes to schedule more discussions in the near future, Rev. Carter said.

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