Local Officials ‘Greatly Concerned’ about Steward Health

WARREN, Ohio – Several local officials are “greatly concerned” about financial difficulties at Steward Health Care and how that could affect the health care of residents in Warren and Trumbull County.

Steward Health Care, which owns Trumbull Regional Medical Center, Sharon Regional Medical Center and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital, has come under fire after failing to pay more than $50 million in unpaid rent to Medical Properties Trust Inc., as well as vendors who have filed civil lawsuits in several states, including locally.

Trumbull County Commissioner Denny Malloy and Warren Mayor Doug Franklin issued an open letter to residents in the city and county Wednesday.

Malloy and Franklin began holding stakeholder meetings several months ago so they can better understand the current state of health care in the region. They said they want to help prevent the abandonment of any properties currently providing health care.

Steward, which is based in Dallas, announced the closure of Northside Regional Medical Center in 2018, only months after it acquired it from Community Health Systems Inc., leading to an empty, recently remodeled hospital and the loss of 468 jobs.

In February, Steward closed the Beaumont campus of The Medical Center of Southeast Texas, another hospital it owns. Two days ago, Steward announced it is looking to transfer ownership of its nine Massachusetts hospitals.

While no mention has been made of the local medical facilities, Malloy and Franklin say they are concerned with maintaining quality careers for the employees of Trumbull Regional and other Steward-owned operations and protecting the tax base for the city of Warren, Warren City Schools and Trumbull County.

“We are navigating many options that could lead to good outcomes for everyone,” the letter states. “While this process will not be easy, we will work tirelessly to foster meaningful dialogue with many business, community, medical and government leaders, all committed to preserving the quality health care that we are accustomed to throughout the Mahoning Valley.”

The two men ask anyone with questions or comments to call their offices.

The full letter can be viewed below.

Pictured at top: Trumbull Regional Medical Center in Warren.

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Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.