Community group talks concerns over changes at UTMC

Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 10:07 PM EST
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From partnerships to services, the University of Toledo Medical Center

is no stranger to change in recent years. Now, some Toledoans want them to stop.

"If the services aren't there then it affects the community," Randy Desposito, president of AFSCME Local 2415, said.

Desposito's union represents most UTMC workers. Wednesday, he and other members came together with community leaders at the Heatherdowns Branch Library to call on UT to ensure quality care at the hospital.

"We want the services to be offered to the community, the community's concerned, and that's why we're here," Desposito said.

For Local 2415 the real rub with UTMC stems from a 2015 partnership between the university and ProMedica. Under it members say students and doctors are being pulled from campus and are instead receiving training at ProMedica sites.

"We don't want to lose everything to Toledo [Hospital]," AFSCME member Ulonda Sutton said. "We don't want to lose our hospital because we've been around for decades."

The union is also upset with UTMC's decision back in August to transition from a Level One Trauma Center to a Level Three. It's a downgrade that members say stripped the hospital of critical services.

“That’s a life or death situation where someone could die on the way to the hospital versus them getting to UTMC and a life being saved," Sutton said.

Despite the shuffles, the University of Toledo says it's working to adjust to changing times.

A statement to 13abc reads in part: "We are in discussions with a long-term care provider to possibly fill available space in the hospital, while providing a much-needed service to the community. We are striving to be responsive to the changing healthcare priorities of our community."

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