DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Clergy Community Coalition announced Tuesday morning what the next steps in the Department of Health and Human Services’ investigation into Good Samaritan Hospital closing will be.
The hospital closed last July and is now being demolished, it is still unclear what will become of the lot.
This investigation comes after the Clergy Community Coalition claims the decision by Premier Health violates Title XI in the Civil Rights Act, which states any program receiving federal funding cannot discriminate based on race, color or natural origin.
“Just the appearance of these investigators, just the appearance to know that our cries have been heard and that we’re going to get our turn at due process has given our community some hope and excitement,” said Dr. Rockney Carter, the president of the Clergy Community Coalition.
Carter said over 300 people have agreed to be interviewed by investigators, saying their lives have been impacted by the closing.
One of those is Theresa Buycks.
Buycks said her brother died from heart complications after being taken to Miami Valley North, before being told they were not equipped to handle his case.
Buycks said he then was taken to Miami Valley Hospital where he passed away.
“I think if Good Sam would have been open, then that would have been the nearest hospital,” said Buycks. “So for Premier to continue to say that these outlying emergency clinic things are just as capable, and can administer the same care, is a lie.”
Those at Tuesday’s rally said they do not disagree that Premier is giving great health care, but say all they have seen in Western quadrant of Montgomery county is abandonment.
Rev. Merritt Worthen/VP of Clergy Community Coalition
“We’re not going to give up until the lives here in West Dayton are as important as the lives in the rest of the city,” said Reverend Merritt Worthen, the Vice President of the Clergy Community Coalition.
A spokesperson for Premier Health told 2NEWS in a statement, “We are aware of the investigation and the process. Premier Health has provided information and we will cooperate with any additional investigation. We do not believe that the allegations have merit, as Premier Health continues to be the largest provider of indigent services in our region and one of the largest providers of such services in the state of Ohio. We believe that our entire community continues to have access to quality health care services, including near the former Good Samaritan Hospital campus. We also have been successful in retaining jobs, with approximately 90 percent of positions at the Good Samaritan Hospital site redeployed elsewhere within the health system. We are committed to preparing the site for redevelopment and have pledged several million dollars in additional funds to enhance its attractiveness to developers.”
The federal investigators with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services will be in Dayton May 6-10 to interview community members and Premier Health.