CLEVELAND — The Sisters of Charity and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center announced a shift to focusing on holistic health for the East 22 St. property, ending inpatient and emergency services for the center in a news release Wednesday.
The center, founded in 1865, will transition from a traditional acute care hospital into an ambulatory health services provider.
“Since 1865, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has weathered challenges, including the pandemic through which our caregivers served our patients and community with courage and grace. This deep commitment to serving our community through Catholic health care will continue as we transition to high-quality ambulatory care,” said Janice G. Murphy, MSN, FACHE, president and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System. “This transition puts the hospital on a financially sustainable path forward despite the rapid, significant and ongoing changes in health care today.”
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center will provide ambulatory care as follows:
- Outpatient mental health services
- High-quality provision of addiction medicine services through Rosary Hall
- Primary care, internal medicine and specialty clinics
- Urgent care
The center will retain approximately 100 caregivers, both clinical and non-clinical staff. Medical residents at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center are invited to move to University Hospitals, which will also be conducting job fairs targeting clinical and non-clinical staff at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, according to the release.
The transition is expected to be complete on Nov. 15, 2022, which is when the center will no longer provide inpatient care.
According to the release, shifts in health care have created a challenging environment for the center to continue to function as a traditional acute care hospital.
"The rise in demand for outpatient care, declining inpatient volume and the growth of telehealth, all of which were accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, have placed additional financial pressure on the hospital," the release said.
Patients are encouraged to check the center's website for additional information about the transition of services.
“The story of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is one of transformation, led by the Sisters of Charity, whose passion for serving the Central neighborhood and all of Cleveland, is unmatched. Their history of evolving to meet the needs of the time is extraordinary and continues today,” said Adnan Tahir M.D., president & CEO of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. “This transformation is possible because of the dedication of our caregivers, who have stayed with us through challenging times. I have tremendous gratitude for each and every member of our staff.”
St. Vincent Charity’s ambulatory health services are part of the new St. Vincent Charity Health Campus, which will also include services meeting a wide range of community-identified needs, including:
- Behavioral health
- Youth and families
- Food and nutrition
- Workforce development
- Physical activity
- Learning and education
- Arts and culture
These programmatic areas and the vision for the Health Campus were co-created by the Sisters of Charity, residents of Central Neighborhood, and Cleveland-area institutions following a comprehensive year-long community voice and planning process, that began in June 2021, according to the release.
Cleveland City Council President Blaine A. Griffin and councilmember Richard Starr released a joint statement expressing disappointment with the shift.
"The Sisters of Charity’s decision to end emergency and inpatient services will have an immediate and drastic impact on the health of Central and Ward 5, predominantly African American communities," the release said. "The two zip codes surrounding St. Vincent Charity – zip codes 44103 and 44115 - have the lowest life expectancies of any zip code in Cleveland."
Griffin and Starr said community health centers have been engaged and urged the Sisters of Charity Medical Center to partner with other healthcare institutions to assist potentially displaced workers.
"We will work with these organizations to ensure there is no health care void in Ward 5," the release said.