Lakewood Hospital itself was our city’s largest employer, accounting for more than 1,000 good jobs at an average salary of $59,000. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

A hospital’s impact is much bigger than its own payroll. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that its typical employee has a total economic impact of more than $250,000 per year. That means Lakewood Hospital’s real contribution to our economy was nearly $300 million, every year. Small wonder that cities like Avon are eager to welcome the arrival of a hospital.

Fortunately, at more than twice the size of Avon, Lakewood still has much to offer, and this gives us a window of opportunity to reopen a major source of revenue for so many other great things. Right now Lakewood is still a great market for a hospital, and other hospital operators are ready to jump in; the only thing stopping them is one bad deal.