The federal complaint about Good Samaritan Hospital’s closure will bring investigators to Dayton, possibly within a month, according to the Rev. Rockney Carter of Zion Baptist Church.
A group of clergy filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights claiming Good Sam’s closure would “have a discriminatory and separate adverse impact on African Americans and women,” violating their civil rights.
The Clergy Community Coalition is seeking people who were “detrimentally impacted” by the hospital’s closure to provide a testimonial and possibly be interviewed when federal investigators come to Dayton, the group said.
Premier Health in a statement said the complaint’s allegations do not have merit and said Premier “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.”
Carter said investigators are coming, but he declined to provide copies of correspondence that he said the group had received from federal officials.
Some examples of negative impact could include loss of access to health care, loss of job and difficulty getting prescriptions filled.
“It is now incumbent upon us to gather as many people as we can to put before investigators,” Carter said. “They are not interested in advocacy, they are not interested in people who are angry or mad — they are interested in people who have been impacted by the closure.”
Interviews will be set up at local churches, and community members need to come forward and share their stories, he said.
Supporters said people who want to share their stories can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Carter at 937-275-6906.
A spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights said the office does not comment on open or potential investigations.
Premier Health said it is aware of the investigation and the process. Premier also said it has provided information and will cooperate with any additional investigation.
But Premier said it believes the community continues to have access to quality health care services, including near the Good Sam campus site.
“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,” Premier’s statement said.
“We are committed to preparing the site for redevelopment and have pledged several million dollars in additional funds to enhance its attractiveness to developers,” Premier said.
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