November 20, 2020Dear Cleveland Heights resident,I want to make you aware of an opportunity here in Cleveland Heights that I believe will help address one of the biggest crises our community and nation face while also bringing good jobs and significant revenue to Cleveland Heights.As you know, the MetroHealth System currently operates a hospital and outpatient facility at Severance Circle. They have been a good community partner as they continue to expand. MetroHealth officials recently approached us with a proposal to expand that facility further by adding 110 beds.This $42 million project would add 155 good paying jobs in Cleveland Heights in the first year, that would expand to 225 jobs after five years. MetroHealth projects that the payroll would be approximately $15 million a year, resulting in an additional $340,000 in tax revenue for Cleveland Heights. Additionally, it would bring increased activity to Severance. We are hopeful that this expansion will be a catalyst for revitalizing Severance. MetroHealth is not asking Cleveland Heights for any financial support for the project.These hospital beds would be used to treat people suffering from behavioral health issues. This facility would treat adolescents, adults and seniors for mood disorders, thought disorders, addiction, and other medical issues.This would not be a state hospital, nor would it be a place for those in trouble with the law. Instead, it would be a place to get help for a parent with dementia, a teen suffering from depression, a brother who has become dependent on pain medication. We know that addiction, depression and other behavioral health problems are just that – health problems, not moral failings. They need to be treated as such in a hospital setting with support from physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. And we know there are not enough hospital beds to treat all those who need help. MetroHealth anticipates the average length of stay would be about a week. The MetroHealth Police Department will provide 24/7 security as it does at all its hospitals.We know that Cleveland Heights, like all of Ohio and the United States, has seen an increase in substance abuse, ranging from opioids to alcohol. We also know that 1 in 4 Americans suffer from some form of mental illness at some point in their life, and most don’t get treatment.MetroHealth would like to begin construction in the spring of 2021 with the projected opening of the facility in October 2022.This is an opportunity to provide a much needed service while also improving our local economy. We have discussed the project with City Council and they are supportive. We will continue to ask tough questions and make sure the city’s interest are protected and met.
For more information, please read the MetroHealth Press Release.Sincerely, Jason Stein, Mayor