Health Care

Steward Remains on Track to Close Northside Thursday

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Northside Regional Medical Center is on schedule for an effective closure at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, a Steward Health Care spokeswoman said.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, the hospital stopped taking admissions and ambulances in the emergency department and labor and delivery unit said, Trish Hrina, Steward’s central division marketing manager.

Northside, which opened in 1929, was among the facilities that Boston-based Steward acquired when it purchased the assets of ValleyCare Health System of Ohio from Community Health Systems Inc. in May 2017. The physician-led health-care organization announced in August that it would close Northside.

Locally, Steward also operates Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland Township and Sharon Regional Health System in Sharon, Pa.

“While the hospital will be closing, multiple medical practices – including our family practice clinic that serves thousands of Youngstown residents – will continue at this location along with outpatient lab services, radiology, mammography and sleep studies,” Hrina said.

Northside’s few remaining patients will be transferred to nearby health-care facilities before closure, she also said.

Hrina did not provide specific numbers as to how many patients remain to be transferred or how many will be employed on Northside’s Gypsy Lane campus once the hospital closes.

The fate of the main Northside building remains unknown. Steward officials have not stated the company’s intentions for the property.

Community leaders have suggested repurposing the hospital building, which was expanded and renovated just a few years ago, to house the local Veterans Administration medical clinic and offer other veterans’ services.

In a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan and Bill Johnson and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown suggested modeling it as something similar to San Diego’s Veterans Village, which provides housing to homeless veterans.

The three federal legislators suggested that Northside could provide transitional housing for at-risk veterans and supportive services such as substance abuse treatment, and potentially partner with America Makes to establish a center of excellence where prosthetics technologies for wounded soldiers could be developed.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.