Economic concerns over Good Samaritan closure

(WDTN Photo/Darren King)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Premier Health’s announcement that it’s closing Good Samaritan Hospital by the end of the year has sent shock waves throughout that Dayton community and many are now wondering what the closure will mean for the area’s economy.

“Everything is moving to either the north or the south. There’s no revitalization in the city of Dayton,” area resident Linda Watkins said.

“We’ve seen it before.”

Chamber of Commerce executive vice president Chris Kershner says although a major business like Good Sam closing its doors could negatively affect the economy, its too early to say for sure.

“Premier certainly is an anchor in that part of the community and they’ll be an impact in that community but we don’t know what the impact will be yet,” Kershner said

“Premier is a good community partner. This is an organization that really has the community in mind… For all we know, there’s going to be new jobs coming into that part of town on that site, that could help minimize that impact.”

Kershner pointed to Premier’s pledge to donate a “significant” amount of money towards rehabilitating the site after it’s closed and demolished.

But he acknowledged, concerns persist in that area that economic growth is stagnant.

“That is certainly an area of town that has had some challenges and the chamber and others in the community want to work hard to address those challenges and to revive that part of town,” Kershner said.

Watkins lives just down the street from Good Samaritan Hospital. She said she learned the hospital was closing its doors, on social media.

“I have friends who work at Good Samaritan. My mom and her sisters retired at Good Samaritan in 1995,” Watkins said.

Good Samaritan is one of the largest employers in that area.

Premier Health said they’re closing Good Sam because it doesn’t make economic sense to operate two hospitals so close to one another.

Miami Valley is five miles away and according to Premier Health, one third of hospital visits there come from the Good Samaritan area.

After it closes, Good Samaritan will be demolished – except for the parking garage and a health facility.

Premier Health says it’s investing money and will talk with the community about what should happen at the site, next.

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