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Cleveland Clinic’s Board of Directors announced Monday that it will end operations at Huron Hospital within 90 days. After an extensive evaluation of data and ongoing efforts to preserve the hospital, a special committee of Cleveland Clinic’s Board of Directors and hospital leadership concluded that Huron Hospital is not sustainable for a long-term future.

Cleveland Clinic will continue to provide outpatient care at the hospital until the new Cleveland Clinic Huron Community Health Center opens Oct. 3 on the hospital’s campus.

This center is better designed to meet the community’s changing health needs. Cleveland Clinic will offer round-trip transportation services from the Huron campus to Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, as well as Euclid, South Pointe and Hillcrest hospitals. Cleveland Clinic will also provide ongoing communication to patients, and hold community information meetings on access to care in the future.

As one of Cleveland’s first hospitals, Huron Hospital has a 137-year history of serving patients, educating physicians and driving innovation. Over the years, however, many factors negatively impacted this once-thriving hospital, including a steady decline in patient use, a rapidly shrinking population, costly maintenance of the hospital’s aging facilities, and substantial fixed costs that were much higher than the hospital could maintain.

“This is a difficult day for Cleveland Clinic, but we are firmly committed to caring for this community and supporting our employees affected by this decision,” said Delos M. Cosgrove, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Cleveland Clinic. “We are facing challenges in healthcare today never seen before, including a dramatic shift toward outpatient care, a difficult economy, a declining population, and the uncertainty of healthcare reform. These challenges require us to adapt to best meet the needs of our patients. Our investment in the new Huron Community Health Center and our work to regionalize trauma will allow us to have more of an impact on the community’s health.”

The new Cleveland Clinic Huron Community Health Center will continue Huron Hospital’s dedication to preventive care and chronic disease management, which is a critical need in East Cleveland and its surrounding area. Due to Huron Hospital’s successful chronic disease management practices, 37 percent of all hospitalized patients in 2009 had a first or secondary diagnosis of diabetes, down from a high of 57 percent five years earlier. It is one of 30 hospitals in the nation to receive certification from The Joint Commission as an inpatient diabetes center. Read more

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