TROY — Prior to approving the rezoning application to begin construction of the 113,500 square feet of the Kettering Health Network’s Troy Hospital, Premier Health and Upper Valley Medical Center administration warned city officials and council of the repercussions it could have on health services for Miami County residents at the Troy city council meeting on Monday.
Council approved the Kettering Health Network’s construction management firm’s request for zoning be changed from Office Commercial to a planned development. Council member John Schweser made the motion to adopt the ordinance, Tom Kendall seconded the motion and council as a whole unanimously approved the rezoning issue 9-0 at its third reading.
The Troy Hospital will be located on 6.12 acres at 600 W. Main St. The planned development will “strictly be for medical offices and clinics for health services.” An FAA-approved helipad is planned to be located on the northwest corner of the parking lot.
Terry Burns, President of Kettering Medical Center and Executive Vice President of Kettering Health Network, spoke during the public hearing in support of the new three-story in-patient, out-patient emergency room center at the Troy location.
“Kettering Health Network is excited about the acquisition of this historical property to build a new community hospital here in Troy,” Burns said. Burns also said he appreciated the Troy Development Council who “brought this property to our attention at the exact time we were evaluating options.”
Burns closed by thanking city staff and Troy Development for their support of the project.
Rebecca Rice, President of Upper Valley Medical Center and Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Maiberger spoke against the rezoning ordinance.
Rice said Upper Valley Medical Center is the county’s largest employer and listed the hospital’s accomplishments, corporate partnerships and its financial support of organizations to help with health care needs of the less fortunate.
“It’s important that you understand that your decisions as council members tonight could affect Miami County’s largest employer before you make this decision,” Rice said. “A move that hurts the county’s largest employer is never a good business strategy in the long term and this could certainly change the scope of services that is provided at Upper Valley Medical Center.”
Rice said duplicating services will cause market over saturation and impact UVMC’s ability to serve patients and services may be adjusted due to the competition.
Rice also said job growth due to the new facility will not be a factor. Rice said jobs will be “a transfer of jobs” that will result in the two health care providers “steal employees back and forth.”
“In the past two decades, the county’s population has only increased by six percent. That is not enough to create the demand for an additional hospital,”Rice said.
Rice extended an invitation to council to tour Upper Valley Medical Center’s campus and reminded council it decided to consolidate its medical services two decades ago when it closed Stouder and Piqua Memorial hospitals to prevent duplicate services.
Troy resident, former president of UVMC, and now COO of Premier Health Mike Maiberger echoed Rice’s statements, stating it’s “not a win-win situation” for the community and will likely impact those unable to afford healthcare the most.
“Any time you consider something that is not in the best interest of your largest employer, it’s hard to see how good the development strategy is for the community … Tonight, what we think is important for you to know is that from an operations standpoint, as this moves forward, this is not a win-win situation. We will be forced, as we look at our business development plan for our campus at Upper Valley Medical Center, at the services we offer our community,” Maiberger said.
Maiberger said with the KHN’s move to the Troy area, UVMC will have to assess its business model and community mission to help those less fortunate, which “will be a little more in jeopardy.”
“We welcome competition…like any other business, like any of your businesses, you do what you got to do. In this business of health care, you have a relatively small focused amount of services …and the services you do offer are for the best of the community and you do that because of the community mission, regardless of their ability to pay,” he said.
Maiberger thanked council for its time and consideration during the public hearing.
The planned development did not request to vacate Water Street and will remain as is at this time and provides adequate parking.