DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – About 30 residents spent hours outside Premier Health’s headquarters downtown protesting the decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital Monday.

Premier Health made the announcement earlier this month, planning to close the hospital on Philadelphia Dr. by the end of 2018.

“This is a matter of life or death,” said Rev. Benjamin Speare-Hardy,  St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.

2 NEWS reached out to Premier Health for comment following the protest. We received the following statement via e-mail:

“We respect the right of citizens to participate in a peaceful protest. As we conveyed in our announcement, we look forward to working with community members to identify the possibilities for redevelopment of the Good Samaritan Hospital campus on Philadelphia Drive. “

Speare-Hardy is worried about the future of west Dayton, a mostly black neighborhood. Dozens of businesses have left the area over the past decade.

“Everything has been moving away from west Dayton. We’ve lost grocery stores and one thing after another. Now, the hospital is the last thing we thought we were going to lose and this will impact all the other businesses around,” he said.

Demonstrators are planning another protest Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The local chapter of the NAACP is hosting a forum with Premier Health CEO Mary Boosalis on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at Zion Baptist Church.Grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, weather and sports.