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關注華人社區抵制美健診所關閉搬遷事態發展

 

(本報訊)自伊利華報刋登在10月31日第14版面MetroHealth將離開華人超市的消息後,收到不少讀者來電來信,讀者十分希望 MetroHealth能繼續留在亞洲商場。華人在美華協會和社會關心人士的幫助下,已經舉行了二次會議,參加的人數都多於100人,華人希望能得到 MetroHealth醫院的支持,能繼續留在亞洲商場來方便華人,現在亞洲商場還有華人開設的美樂健藥房,尤其方便居家在克利夫蘭唐人街的華人。
     本報記者參與了這次已經有10多年在亞洲商場2樓的MetroHealth 準備關閉的整個過程,記者得知華人們已經把這個診所當家了,華人們喜歡這里的劉醫生與護士,有華人不需要去看病也會去診所看看,大家十分熟悉,更重要的是華人們已經對醫生護士十分信賴,這個診所方便了大家。
     華人提出診所是爲廣大居民而設立的公共服務,我們有需要知道關閉的原因,診所是用政府財政和稅收運作的,要關閉是通過什么程序決定的?是否有咨詢過社區意 見,診所服務多年,它的存在尤其讓老人生活安定,萬事不求人,關閉這是改變老人生活。本報記者參與這次診所準備搬遷的過程,看到華人們的團結,也看到未來 克利夫蘭華人的希望。克利夫蘭唐人街,有相當規模的超市,華人服務組織,華人商業等等,相信未來一定會有一個屬於華人的娛樂中心。

Asiatown Angered by MetroHealth Clinic Sudden Closure – OCA Townhall Meeting
by Wayne Wong

    11月20日OCA美華協會大克利夫蘭組織舉行了亞洲成市政廳會議,會議討論了MetroHealth(美健診所)突然單方面決定關閉位于亞洲廣場內的亞洲城健康中心的議題。 177位亞洲城社區的居民參加了會議。他們大多數是老年人並在該診所看病,他們激動地向12位MetroHealt的代表提出問題並表達他們的關注。他們建議撤銷關閉診所的決定,或延遲關閉以便更容易過渡,亞洲廣場甚至提出極其優惠的財政措施以保持診所繼續開放,但是這一切都沒有能夠改變美健診所在11月30日關閉的決定。
   對此社區居民感到非常不安原因是:1)此家診所爲社區盡心服務了22年,並能夠爲非英語中老年居民提供雙語服務的醫務人員,比鄰社區的老人們也非常方便前往看病,而關閉這樣一家診所的決定是非常嚴重的事情。2)之前的一個月僅在伊利華報上刋登了一則廣吿就在十一月底將診所關閉。3)缺乏社區的參與和投入以緩解過渡。4)沒有通知縣和市議會 – 他們都是通過美華協會獲悉診所關閉的。(更多詳情請閲讀下文)
OCA Greater Cleveland organized an Asiatown Townhall Meeting held on November 20 to discuss MetroHealth’s unilateral and sudden decision to close the Asia Town Heath Center located at Asia Plaza. 177 people, mostly Senior Citizens from the Asiatown Community that depend on the clinic attended and raised passionate questions and concerns to the 12 MetroHealth representatives. Suggestions to reverse the decision, or delay the closure to allow an easier transition, and even extremely generous financial incentives to keep the facility open offered by Asia Plaza has not changed the decision to close the clinic on November 30.
The community was very upset by: 1) Decision to close the facility that ably served the community for 22 years including non-English speaking elderly for whom bi-lingual medical staff and ease of neighborhood access is critical, 2) Abruptness of the announcement via an ad in Erie Chinese Journal a month prior to closure at the end of November, 3) Lack of community involvement and input to ease the transition, 4) Lack of notification to County and City Council – who learned of the closure through OCA.
The community was very impressed by the ardent support provided at the meeting by Cleveland City Councilman Jeffrey D. Johnson (Ward 8, previously represented Asiatown prior to rezoning) who chastised the MetroHealth Senior Management for never approaching City Council or St. Clair Superior Development Corporation regarding the closure or on any concerns over the adequacy of the existing Asiatown facility. Regarding abandoning Asiatown, Councilman Johnson said: “Do you know the uniqueness of what is going on over here? …For you guys to take a walk after 22 years is unacceptable. This is Asiatown!” to the cheers of community. Similarly, Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell was surprised to learn about the closure at last week’s pre-meeting and sent a probing letter of inquiry to MetroHealth and has offered support for Asiatown.
Thanks to the Hom Family and Li Wah Restaurant for hosting the event, to OCA President Lisa Wong for organizing the meeting, OCA VP Administration Wayne Wong for Moderating the meeting, and OCA VP Communications Johnny Wu for support. Thanks to the speakers: MetroHeath’s Dr. Harry Walker Sr. VP of Ambulatory Network (and responsible for all 17 clinics), Dr. Sheng Liu the Medical Director of the current Asia Town MetroHealth facility, Michael Byun Executive Director of (ASIA) Asian Services In Action who was invited by MetroHealth to discuss the new unaffiliated ICHC clinic. Thank you to translators Henry Lu, William Young, Chia Chen, and Susan Cho-Harris. Further demonstrating the unique needs of Asiatown, the meeting was conducted in four languages (English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean). Thank you to all the many concerned community members and leaders for attending and supporting each other.
11月14日會議情况 At last Thursday's Townhall Meeting, the Asiatown community and its many supporters expressed concern and even anger over MetroHealth's decision to close the critical 22 year old Asia Plaza Health Center after this week. Here is a short video including Cleveland Councilman Jeffrey Johnson rebuking MetroHealth for planning the closure in secret and not involving community leaders in finding a fair solution?. Most of the 177 people in attendance, especially the many non-English speaking elderly, protested the closing with a show of hands. Over two-hundred signed letters have been collected.Asia Plaza has offered generous financial incentives and additional space for upgrading the current facility?. But at this time, MetroHealth has not indicated a willingness to rescind or delay the closure to ease transition.
Can anything be done before the end of this week to prevent the closure of the clinic? We need to take action now.
Lisa Wong

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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