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Another Step Forward For Good Samaritan Hospital Site Redevelopment

Shortly after noon on July 19, 2018, workers stretched construction barrels and webbing across the entrance to Good Samaritan Hospital's emergency center entrance.
Jerry Kenney

The redevelopment of Northwest Dayton’s Good Samaritan Hospital took another step forward this week. Premier Health and Dayton officials have announced a new nonprofit organization and board to oversee the project. The city and Premier are also contributing a combined $30 million towards redevelopment at the 13-acre hospital campus and in the surrounding area.

Premier president and CEO Mary Boosalis says the vision for Good Samaritan's future includes new housing, businesses, educational services and other ideas gathered in community meetings with nearly 600 Dayton residents over the last year.

“The neighbors wanted to see something that promotes wellness and health," she says. "You know, obviously, we’ve made the decision on not having an acute-care hospital, but more, how do you maintain wellness. The design of whatever goes on there should have some orientation around that intent.”

Over 10 years, developers plan to leverage the initial $30 million to raise additional state, federal and private investments for Good Sam's redevelopment.
Credit WYSO
Over 10 years, developers plan to leverage the initial $30 million to raise additional state, federal and private investments for Good Sam's redevelopment.

See the plan at Phoenix Next

The vision does not include a new full-service hospital, something for which the grassroots west side Clergy Community Coalition has long advocated.

"The reality is that that will not result in a brick-and-mortar facility, not a hospital or medical center, not a freestanding emergency center or facility, like what Premier is building all up and down I-75," says the coalition's Rev. Rockney Carter from Zion Baptist Church. "I was saddened by that."

In 2018, the coalition filed a federal civil-rights complaint alleging Good Sam’s closure amounts to discrimination. A Health and Human Services Department investigation into the complaint is ongoing.

Still, Carter cheered the city's and Premier's investment, designed to spur additional investments and business partnerships. He says the coalition will continue to push for more medical care on the west side.

Premier maintains the closure of the aging Good Sam complex was necessary and part of a larger consolidation trend in health care across the country.

The decades-old hospital shut down last summer. Demolition of the site is underway.

Premier officials say its removal should be completed by the end of March, 2020.

The new nonprofit, Phoenix Next Dayton, will form a new oversight board that's expected to meet in January, 2020. Members will include City Manager Shelley Dickstein, Dayton Planning and Community Development Director Todd Kinskey, Eloise Broner and Patrick Ray from Premier Health, and community members Sister Carol Bauer and Belinda Matthews Stenson.

“We have listened carefully to the opinions of more than 500 people who care deeply about what the next chapter looks like for these neighborhoods and how it will unfold,” Broner, who will chair the nonprofit board, said in a statement. “We have very much appreciated their input, which will help inform our ongoing redevelopment efforts for years to come.”

Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding America initiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.