DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dozens protested alongside Gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich against the closing of Good Samaritan Hospital.
Tuesday’s protest was the second one held this week outside Premier Health’s headquarters in downtown Dayton.
The crowd chanted, “We’re standing for all of Dayton” and some held signs reading “Outraged and Betrayed”.
Centerville resident Gloria Doan used to live in Dayton and is concerned about the impact of the hospital closing.
“I used to be a social worker, working with the poor and this is the most heartbreaking insult I can think of,” said Doan.
She believes the closure is an attack on the black community.
Premier Health announced earlier this month plans to close Good Samaritan on Philadelphia Drive by the end of the year. When it closes the nearest Premier Health option, Miami Valley Hospital is five miles away.
Kucinich calling the issue a socioeconomic one.
“Might there be racial disparities? Absolutely. Are there economic issues? You bet there are. Are there market concentration issues we’re going to be looking at? Of course,” he said.
Kucinich is planning on doing research and trying to get lawyers involved to file a case against Premier Health’s decision.
“West Dayton is more than just a dollar store. It’s more than just a liquor store,” said Lt. Gubernatorial candidate Tara Samples.
Dayton residents like Jo’el Jones hopes businesses will stop leaving her neighborhood.
“Good Sam is located in a predominantly black community. African American communities feel especially impacted. We have had a lot of things leave,” said Jones.
Dayton is considered a food desert and is littered with boarded up vacant homes and businesses. Property values in the area have declined by 12-percent, according to the county auditor’s office.
2 NEWS reached out to Premier Health for comment and did not hear back.
The local chapter of the NAACP is planning a community forum for Feb. 10 and 10 a.m. at the Zion Baptist Church, where the Premier Health CEO is expected to be in attendance.