The Dayton mayor said city officials were “not told the truth” when asking Premier Health late last year about whether Good Samaritan Hospital was closing.
At the end of the city commission meeting Wednesday morning Mayor Nan Whaley said she wanted to emphasize how surprised the city leaders were by the news last week that the Premier Health-operated hospital in northwest Dayton would shut down before the end of the year.
“We have worked with Premier for years and even had asked in the fourth quarter ‘were they making this consideration?’ and they told us ‘no’ so getting a ‘yes’ that they were four hours before the announcement was a surprise to this body and this organization,” Whaley said.
In a statement Premier Health said, "We regret that city officials feel that way. Multiple aspects of the configuration of our health system were being assessed, and no decision was made until late in the day of Jan. 16. Without a board vote, we could not divulge details of this potential significant decision. We provided earnest and honest answers whenever questions were posed about Good Samaritan Hospital's future."
The final decision to close the hospital was approved by Premier's board of trustees the night before the Jan. 17 announcement was made.
Whaley made her initial comments Wednesday about the hospital’s closure during a city commission meeting.
After the meeting, she told the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV on camera that the city was “not told the truth” from Premier about Good Samaritan.
City Manager Shelly Dickstein met with Premier Health CEO Mary Boosalis on Dec. 22, Whaley said.
“We were hearing things on the street from people connected to Premier,” Whaley said.
Later in the day, in a second interview with the Dayton Daily News, Whaley disputed the accuracy of her on-camera comments, instead insisting that Boosalis’ answers to Dickstein were “disingenuous,” but not lies.
After Good Samaritan’s 1,600 main campus employees move out later this year, Premier said previously that the hospital’s 2222 Philadelphia Drive campus will be razed with the exception of the parking garage and the newly-constructed Five Rivers Health Center, which Premier supports financially and serves patients regardless of their ability to pay for care.
Whaley said moving forward the city wants to work to ensure community input is a meaningful part of the redevelopment of the Good Sam.
She said the city also wants to address public health concerns about what the loss of the hospital might mean for the west side.
“We will continue to work, to lead to make sure that the community input is legitimate, honest and open and we do our very best to make sure that this site is redeveloped to a way that best benefits the city of Dayton,” Whaley said.