County will not stop levy collection for Greene Memorial Hospital

Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia, MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Greene County Commissioners will not stop collecting on the Greene Memorial Hospital levies, which together bring in about $3.5 million a year.

Greene County officials considered stopping the collection of taxes for two Greene Memorial Hospital levies because the hospital no longer offers certain services. Commissioner Bob Glaser said commissioners have taken a “wait and see” approach.

“We’re waiting to see what Kettering is going to do with Greene Memorial,” Glaser said. “What is their intention with Greene Memorial? They haven’t told us and we don’t know. Until we get that information we’re sort of standing pat. It’s kind of a game of checkers and the next move is up to Kettering.”

In 2018, Greene County voters renewed a five-year, .5-mill levy that will generate $1.75 million a year to support Greene Memorial Hospital. The levy costs homeowners close to $14 a year for every $100,000 value of property, according to the county auditor.

Voters also renewed a .5 mill levy in 2016. That levy will be collected on through 2021 and commissioners will consider renewal at the end of this year.

Commissioners were concerned that removing the intensive care unit and the surgery center would not hold up to language in the levies.

“They have removed a number of facilities from the hospital, and technically I believe the hospital is no longer a hospital, it is a medical care place,” Glaser said.

Jimmy Phillips of Kettering Health Network said the health network remains committed to the communities of Xenia and Greene County.

“That support has never wavered,” Phillips said in an emailed statement.

Kettering Health plans to build a facility within the city limits of Xenia at the Reach Center. Phillips said this project will provide “sustainability for decades to come,” and added that the current Greene Memorial Hospital building can’t accomplish this without major financial investments. Greene Memorial Hospital facility is 75 years old, Glaser said.

Glaser said he would like to get clarity from Kettering Health about what they plan to do with Greene Memorial and what they plan to build at the Reach Center.

“We hope that Kettering maintains a presence in Xenia. We need medical facilities out in the western part of Greene County,” Glaser said. “What that hospital looks like in today’s world, I don’t know. I need them to come talk to us and tell us what it’s going to be.”

ExploreCounty could halt levy collection for Greene Memorial Hospital

Greene County commissioners passed a resolution on June 25 demanding Kettering Health Network, which owns the hospital, reinstate services it had discontinued at the hospital by Sept. 1. Those services were not be reinstated.

After that, Brandon Huddleson, Greene County administrator, gave commissioners the option to serve a notice of early termination of the levy agreements and ask the Greene County Budget Commission to stop levying the tax. Huddleson said a decision needed to be made by Oct. 1, but commissioners did not take action.

Greene Memorial Hospital did not renew its Level 3 Trauma designation in 2019, closed its intensive care unit in February, and closed its surgery center in March. Kettering Health closed the ICU because it said the doctor group that covered the unit left. Patients who now need intensive care unit care can’t stay at the Xenia hospital and will be taken 12 miles away to Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek.

The surgery and ICU averaged 1.8 people per day at Greene Memorial Hospital, with no patients some days, Terry Burns, CEO of Kettering Health, told the board at a work session.

Phillips said Kettering Health has taken “great lengths to ensure that we are upholding levy language that has been approved by voters and related agreements with the commissioners.”

“We’ve enjoyed a good relationship with Kettering,” Glaser said. “They’ve done a lot for Greene County.”

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