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Good Sam closing prompts neighboring hospital to illuminate cross

In the wake of the announcement that Good Samaritan Hospital will be closing, nearby Grandview Medical Center has been lighting a cross on its roof in what the hospital described as a gesture of support.

Grandview, operated by Kettering Health Network, is a little under three miles south of Good Sam, operated by competitor Premier Health.

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Premier’s decision to shut down the 85-year-old hospital by the end of the year sparked outcry, particularly from residents in the surrounding neighborhoods concerned about how the closing will affect their health and economy. The closing also means 1,600 jobs moving out of the neighborhood, though Premier said all employees should be offered other positions within the hospital network.

Grandview has a cross on its roof that was originally at the Franciscan Medical Center, formerly called St. Elizabeth’s, which closed in Dayton 18 years ago. The cross is normally lit during Christmas but has also been illuminated following the Good Sam closing.

Kettering Health spokeswoman Liz Long stated in response to an inquiry from this news outlet that “Grandview Medical Center leaders had decided to light the cross as an expression of their support for the West Dayton community. The cross, which came to Grandview from St. Elizabeth’s after it closed, is a meaningful symbol for this community.”

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Premier Health officials have said it is necessary to close Good Samaritan in order to keep the health system financially sustainable. Premier said it can’t justify operating two hospitals five miles apart in a city with a declining population and almost twice as many hospital beds as it needs.

Premier also has said that its other hospital in the Dayton city limits, Miami Valley Hospital, already serves patients and hires residents from the neighborhoods surrounding Good Sam, indicating jobs and health services will still be accessible to residents.

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