MedCity Influencers

Mayor asks Cleveland Clinic to keep Huron Hospital trauma unit open

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson wants Cleveland Clinic officials to reconsider the decision the close the Huron Hospital trauma center. EMS Commissioner Ed Eckart told WKYC that closing the Huron Level II trauma center would have a “tsunami-like” effect on EMS ambulance service. Eckart predicted all response times would be greatly increased and that ambulances would […]

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson wants Cleveland Clinic officials to reconsider the decision the close the Huron Hospital trauma center.

EMS Commissioner Ed Eckart told WKYC that closing the Huron Level II trauma center would have a “tsunami-like” effect on EMS ambulance service. Eckart predicted all response times would be greatly increased and that ambulances would be out of service for much longer periods of time.

The Clinic is consolidating trauma operations at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights. Eckart says that’s too far away to be helpful in most EMS runs.

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Almost all trauma patients would be transported to MetroHealth Medical Center. Eckart predicted the closing of Huron’s trauma center would also result in a back up of ambulances and slower emergency service there as well.

“The facts and information demand they reconsider,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Cleveland City Council’s Safety Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed closing this Wednesday.

Cleveland Clinic President Dr. Toby Cosgrove is invited to appear. Clinic Spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said a delegation of other doctors and government relations officials would attend.

Safety Committee Chairman Councilman Kevin Conwell called the decision a “slap in the face to Cleveland and inner ring suburb residents who depend on the Huron Road facility.”

EMS Commissioner Eckart says the center’s certification as a trauma center is due to expire on Oct. 29. Sheil said the intention is to keep the facility operating until next year, with or without the certification.

The Clinic issued this statement about the decision:

“Cleveland Clinic is committed to providing the highest quality of care and safety to its patients. The decision to consolidate trauma services from Huron Hospital to Hillcrest Hospital was due to the fact higher quality comes from higher volume and concentrated expertise. Further we have been challenged to secure enough surgeons at Huron to provide 24-hour coverage. Huron’s emergency department remains open and there are two, larger emergency departments within three miles of Huron Hospital (the Clinic and University Hospital) fully capable of treating patients and if necessary stabilizing for transfer.”

WKYC provides comprehensive media coverage of the business of health care in Cleveland. WKYC is also a MedCityNews syndication partner.