Community Shares Ideas In Mercy Health Sessions

Services at the Mercy Health Perrysburg Hospital continue to expand to meet the growing needs of the community following the closing of St. Luke’s Hospital. To send ideas and suggestions to Mercy Health about future uses for the former Maumee site, email stlukesfuture@mercy.com. PHOTO COURTESY OF MERCY HEALTH
Don Lemle is one of several former St. Luke’s volunteers who now donate time at the Mercy Health Perrysburg Hospital. During listening sessions, some have asked Mercy to reinstate a volunteer program and an auxiliary. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Mercy Health is listening.

As the new owner of the buildings and assets of the former McLaren St. Luke’s Hospital, Mercy Health is hosting listening sessions to learn from residents of the Perrysburg, Maumee and Anthony Wayne communities exactly what they would like to see, said Matt Sapara, vice president of business development and advocacy for Mercy Health.

“What health care access points do you want? What types of health care services do you need? What supports would you like Mercy Health to continue that St. Luke’s did?” Sapara asked.

Sheila Wineman-Krieger, a Waterside resident, moved to the area because of the proximity to St. Luke’s. On June 27 she arrived at Sunshine Community, armed with a list of answers for the third of nine planned sessions.

“Testing. ER. Open MRI. Meals on Wheels. The amazing heart center. And I’d like to see them restart the auxiliary,” said Wineman-Krieger, who was co-president of the St. Luke’s Auxiliary for almost 20 years.

Polly Malohn, a Clearwater resident, brought a list of questions as well, such as who is maintaining the grounds and whether she could choose which hospital she wanted transport to if she needed a higher level of care than the Mercy Health Perrysburg Hospital location provides.

Perrysburg is just 3.8 miles from St. Luke’s, Sapara said, and area fire/EMS departments have reported that transporting patients from Maumee and surrounding areas has happened with quicker turnaround times than expected. Once there, patients are able to receive a full range of services from the 24-hour emergency room or inpatient rooms. The hospital offers physical, occupational and speech therapy, an outpatient pharmacy, diagnostic and imaging services, and a comprehensive on-site cancer center, as well as a medical office building with specialist provider offices. 

What will go into the 576,000 square feet of space on the former St. Luke’s campus? It is not financially viable to operate as a hospital, as McLaren has shown, Sapara said. Mercy is seeking input from the community to find out what is most needed for that space.

Steve Lee, superintendent of Maumee City Schools, said mental health concerns for youth continue to be a significant need and priority that he’d like to see addressed.

“If there is an opportunity to expand the mental health services and supports available to our students and families, I believe taking advantage of that opportunity would match the goal stated for the listening session, which is making sure they provide services that match the needs of the community,” Lee said.

Some other ideas shared by the audience included occupational health, physical therapy, cardiologists, orthopedists and podiatrists. 

Bob Farley, of Each Day’s a Gift, wants to see the facility used for children with fetal alcohol syndrome disorders.

Another woman suggested having a dementia unit.

The community would also benefit from services such as wellness programs and health fairs, those in the audience suggested.

While each of the listening sessions have the same format, Mercy Health is receiving a variety of feedback at each one. 

The public is invited to sessions from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: July 11 at Way Public Library, 101 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg; July 18 at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 22 N. Second St., Waterville; and July 25 at the Maumee Branch Library auditorium, 501 River Rd., Maumee.

To share feedback, email stlukesfuture@mercy.com.

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