Ohio nurses affiliated with National Nurses United, America’s largest association of RNs, has recommended voting against Lakewood Issue 64.

“Protecting access to healthcare in our communities is essential,” Ohio Nurses emphasized in a recent statement. Dismissing the marketing around Issue 64, the union was firm in warning that the controversial deal to close Lakewood Hospital would not protect essential healthcare in Lakewood.

National Nurses United has consistently spoken out on the need for genuine, local hospital services. Echoing the comments of other healthcare professionals, NNU has warned “Time is life — delays are deadly.”

Without local hospitals, patients who “discover they require true emergency services would need to be rushed to a hospital emergency room, perhaps along heavily trafficked roads,” NNU affirms. “Transport alone can result in long delays depending on ambulance and staff availability, which can put lives at risk. Communities need access to a full service hospital.”

The nurses union joins a growing movement that rejects Issue 64 as a bad deal for Lakewood. In addition to Save Lakewood Hospital and many businesses throughout Lakewood, thousands of citizens have formally petitioned to overturn the deal. Progressive reform organization Ohio Revolution has endorsed a vote against 64, as have former congressman Dennis Kucinich and Tristan Rader of the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus.

Retired city council member Nancy Roth, who was directly involved with negotiating the hospital’s lease to Cleveland Clinic, has also recommended voting against 64. In a recent letter to the editor, Roth commented “I would have expected that public properties would be sold to the highest bidder through an open bidding process. It would have never crossed my mind that an ordinance adopted by City Council would include a non-compete clause that gives the Clinic power over the use of a City-owned facility.”

Lakewood can vote nurses’ values, and reject radically limited local healthcare, by voting AGAINST Issue 64 on page three of November’s ballot.