Kettering Health Network Rezoning Request

 

There’s been a lot of discussion around town on the benefits and pitfalls of allowing Kettering Health Network to add overnight beds to their facility at the old Reyton Inn site at the I-75 Interchange.

Kettering (KHN) originally came to the city with a plan to build a $30 million outpatient medical facility that offered an Emergency Room and outpatient services.   As the project progressed, KHN revisited the original plan and inquired about adding 8-20 beds for overnight stays in space that wasn’t otherwise designated.  As it stands now, an outpatient stay is anything less than 23 hours.   In order to accommodate that request, a zone change would have to be sought and approved by Planning Commission and subsequently, City Council.  

The KHN application for a zoning change went to Planning Commission, and after a long public hearing, the Planning Commission recommended denial of KHN’s zoning request to allow the hospital beds for overnight stays.  This had no impact on the original KHN plans for the facility.

After Planning Commission votes on a proposed zoning change, the matter comes to City Council to affirm or deny the recommendation of Planning Commission.  Under City Ordinances, there must be a published notice of public hearing at least 30 days before the matter can come before City Council for consideration.   The notice was published and the 30 day notice period meant that the matter would not come to City Council at the October 3rd meeting, but rather on Tuesday’s meeting on October 17th.

The delay was not staff driven, Planning Commission driven, or at the request of either KHN or Atrium Medical Center.  It was simply a matter of Middletown law which requires that people know about the proposed change and have 30 days opportunity to express public opinion, both at the Public Hearing, and also to their City Council representatives.

The KHN zoning request was set to come to City Council today.  Under Middletown Ordinances, if City Council wishes to reverse the recommendation of Planning Commission, it takes an affirmative vote of four of the five Council members to overturn Planning Commission’s recommendation.  Four out of five City Council members would need to vote yes to allow the KHN zoning to be changed to permit hospital beds at the new facility.  City staff recommended to City Council that the zoning be changed to allow the beds as requested by KHN.

On Monday, October 16, 2017, around noon, KHN submitted a letter to me formally withdrawing their application to rezone the two parcels in question, thereby abandoning their request to add hospital beds to the new facility.  The KHN zoning requests have been removed from today’s City Council agenda and they are no longer under consideration by the City at the request of KHN.

Again, this does not change the original designs of the facility to offer Emergency Room services and outpatient services.

There have been discussions in the community that the city supported or didn’t support the KHN plan and that the matter was somehow subjectively being manipulated by City government to get a particular outcome.   This one is by the books folks.  Planning Commission made their recommendation.  The city followed the law and standard procedure to publish notice and offer time for comment.  KHN withdrew their request completely with no input from  City staff.    I do not know their business reasons for withdrawing their request.

There will be no public hearing on this item or a vote of council tonight.  The request is withdrawn and done.

I hope this explains the process and timeline so people can understand what happened and why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

See You at the Bash!

See you at the Bash!                                                           monster bash

For the sixth year in a row, the popular Monster Bash will take place on the corner of Central and Broad in Middletown this Saturday, October 7. This family friendly event will feature bands with Middletown ties including Used Toys, The Beaumonts and Johnny Fugate, a kid zone, food trucks and a costume contest for all ages.

Monster Bash is a great example of the Middletown community coming together in celebration. Adriane Scherrer, founder of We Can – Business Incubator, Inc. operates as the Broad Street Bash for part of the year to put on the summer concert series as well as the Monster Bash.

Join us for an evening of fun in downtown Middletown!

 

Robert “Sonny ” Hill Community Center Partnership

 

As the saying goes, its takes a village to raise a child… in an effort to improve the quality of life for Middletown citizens, the following partnership was formed- the City of Middletown; Atrium Medical Center; the Community Building Institute Middletown Inc., which operates the Robert “Sonny” Hill Community Center; the nonprofit A Brush of Hope; and Su Casa Hispanic Center; are partnering to offer what’s being called Atrium Days at the community center. Atrium Days will bring access to health information on a variety of topics close to people in the community with the support of bilingual staff.

Atrium Days at the RSHCC will begin Wednesday, Oct. 11, and be held the second Wednesday each month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The community center is located at 800 Lafayette Ave., Middletown, OH 45044.

The collaboration of these groups- the City of Middletown,  Atrium Medical Center,  the Community Building Institute Middletown Inc., the nonprofit A Brush of Hope and Su Casa Hispanic Center is to provide services and education to reach more people closer to home, who might otherwise have trouble accessing services due to transportation and other barriers.

City of Middletown funding will provide bilingual support staff to extend hours at the community center’s Parent Resource Center, also on Wednesdays. To truly impact poverty requires a comprehensive approach addressing all of the symptoms of poverty including education, social services, job resources, and health. The City has partnered for years with the Community Building Institute at the community center to build that network of resources. Adding the extensive network of resources and expertise of Atrium Medical Center to the array of services available at the Center moves our work forward immensely. We strive to lift up families. Atrium is a great partner in that endeavor.

“Going outside of hospital walls to bring health information to people in the community is just one example of how Premier Health and Atrium Medical Center strives to improve access to services with key partners,” said Michael Uhl, president of Atrium Medical Center. “Atrium Days is an opportunity for community members to meet our staff, ask questions about their health or about the hospital’s services, and walk away with health tips from our different subject matter experts.”

During Atrium days, hospital staff will come to the RSHCC and provide attendees information on different topics each month such as women’s health, diabetes, heart health, cancer care and more.

Also on Atrium Days, Su Casa Hispanic Center will offer referrals for emergency assistance and eventually, referrals for health care services to the Hispanic/Latino community. Su Casa’s mission is self-sufficiency for the poor and vulnerable of the immigrant community in the U.S. A Brush of Hope will offer daily classes for one hour to play groups at the community center.

“Our Su Casa Hispanic Center has served for more than 20 years. Expanding services in Middletown is a benefit to the whole community,” said Ted Bergh, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, which operates Su Casa.

“A Brush of Hope is pleased to partner with these wonderful agencies for the common goal of supporting the little ones in our community. All of us are passionate about art and understand the difference it can make in the life of a child. We are excited to begin this much-anticipated project,” said Aimee Lowrance, executive director of A Brush of Hope.

Meanwhile, The Community Building Institute will continue to offer its regularly scheduled programming and services on Wednesdays, such as playgroups for kids ages three to five; distribution of baby essentials including diapers, wipes and formula; GED and ESOL classes; Adolescent Community Treatment Services (ACTS), a program for teens with mandated community services hours; and a breastfeeding support group through Butler County Educational Services Center.

“CBI is thrilled to partner with the City of Middletown and Atrium Medical Center to bring Atrium Days, Brush of Hope and Su Casa services to the Robert “Sonny” Hill Community Center. This collaboration is a perfect fit for our cradle to career commitment to meet the needs of everyone,” said Verlena Stewart, director of the Robert Hill Community Center.

Many thanks to all our community partners who work with us to make Middletown a great place to live!

 

 

City of Middletown- Division of Fire

Great news!  I am very excited to share this with you…

The Middletown Division of Fire has been notified by FEMA that they have been awarded $337,690 from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant.  The grant awarded is to replace their entire stock of SCBA’s -air pack breathing equipment.  Their current breathing apparatus used in firefighting operations are set to expire over the next year.  This grant takes a huge chunk out of the City’s deferred maintenance cost budget.  Chief Lolli is extremely appreciative of the support the Division of Fire has received from the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to enhance the safety of the citizens of Middletown and the firefighters.  Chief Lolli is also very proud of the team that worked on the grant ; Firefighters Chris Klug, Ryan Pennekamp and Ben Bultman; Assistant Chief Tom Snively; Captain Rob Curry.  These guys are the BEST!!

And as always…a HUGE thank you to our Department of Public Safety for their work and dedication in making Middletown a better place to live!

Middletown City School District kicks off new year

I’ve been a little quiet on here for a few weeks, letting all of the other press die down.  It seems to have worked.

I can’t stay away from this however.   Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. put on a clinic this morning on how to kick off the school year in the right direction.

MCSD

The first 20 minutes was on our feet cheering.   The Superintendent has a plan similar to what I tried to do when I took over at the city three years ago.  Do the right thing every day and keep moving the city, and in his case, the School District, forward a little bit each day.

I believe in his plans and I believe in his ability to move us forward.  Please rally around this Superintendent and let’s work as a community to raise our test scores and prepare our youth for living wage jobs in the 21st Century.

He has my vote of confidence and my full support.  I believe.

Primary Health Solutions Celebrates with Family Wellness Block Parties

 

Primary Health Solutions-1036 Verity Pkwy, Middletown, OH 45044 is gearing up for its annual Family Wellness Block Party in celebration of National Health Center Week 2017, taking place from August 17th.  For over 30 years, National Health Center Week has given recognition to the services and contributions made by local community health centers.

They celebrate the importance of health centers as they’ve been committed to a long, successful history of providing access to affordable, high quality, and cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved populations throughout the United States.

This year Primary Health Solutions continue partnerships with  WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program along with a variety of local community sponsors: Molina Healthcare, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Interact for Health, Paramount Advantage, Butler County United Way, Community First Solutions, Kori & Everhart Advanced Dentistry, National Retirement Consultants, Inc., Atrium Medical Center, United Healthcare, Baker Chiropractic, The Village Church, and U.S. Bank.

Come out and show your support for PHS at the Middletown location on August 17th, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.!  Participate in Free Health Screenings, Education, Community Farmer’s Market, Mobile Dental and Mammography Vans Onsite, Food Demonstrations, Health and Wellness Education, Physical Fitness Activities, Face Painting, Children’s Games, Free Food, Vendors, Cincinnati Zoo on the Move and Give-A-Ways!

Primary Health Solutions is a non-profit, federally qualified, community health center with six offices serving patients from Butler and adjacent counties. Our mission is “to improve community wellness through access to quality, affordable, integrated primary healthcare.

This year’s celebration also includes an event at their Hamilton location-Tuesday, August 15, 2017, Bever Pavilion 210 South 2nd St., Hamilton, OH 45011

For more information about Primary Health Solutions, please go to their website: www.myprimaryhealthsolutions.org.

 

Housing Meetings for the Public

Good morning!   I’ve spent time updating City Council and the School Board on the problems we are having with our housing stock in the city and the impact poor quality housing is having on housing values city-wide and poverty rates.

I’ve also been out in the community making the presentation to a few other stakeholder groups in the City.

It’s time to roll it out to the public at large.  I’ll be hosting two presentations in August.  The  Middletown City School  District was very gracious in allowing us to utilize the school cafeterias at two locations to host these events.

The sole purpose of these presentations is to present to the public some of the issues facing our housing in Middletown and start to see the possible solutions available to address those problems.

The schools can probably handle around 100 people at each location easily.  If we get too overwhelmed I’ll schedule additional presentations for the public.

Please consider joining me at the following days, times and locations:

Thursday, August 3rd, at 6:00 p.m. – Rosa Parks Elementary School cafeteria

Thursday, August 10th, at 6:00 p.m. – Amanda Elementary School cafeteria

I’ll ask more questions than we get answered at these events.  Your input and questions help me to make better decisions as to how to fix some of our housing problems.

Plan to participate, but please be civil!    See you there.

2017 Second Quarter Reports

The mid year departmental reports are in.   I’ll get them posted to the city web page in the next few days.  In the mean time, it’s always interesting to see how much work gets done throughout the city.  Some of it is visible… some behind the scenes.

For the second quarter of this year, from April through June:

Human Resources welcomed 17 new employees and processed the end of employment for 12 departing employees.

The Health Department screened 84 youth for lead levels, conducted inspections on 274 food service operations, completed 65 swimming pool inspections, investigated 52 animal bites, completed 41 indigent cremations, issued 2214 birth certificates and issued 1959 death certificates.

Code enforcement year to date has completed 480 commercial inspections, resolving 174 violations; completed 614 residential inspections, resolving 852 violations; and completed 3598 nuisance inspections, resolving 2027 violations.

The Law Department for the second quarter reviewed 89 contracts and drafted 46 pieces of legislation for City Council.  The Prosecutor’s Office at the end of June had 6747 open cases including 555 felonies, 2497 misdemeanors, 215 drunk driving cases, and 3480 traffic cases outstanding.

Our social media presence continues to grow.  Through the end of June, the City Instagram account had 828 followers, the City’s Twitter account was followed by 906 people, and in June, the City’s Facebook page reached 173,616 people.

Building Inspection issued new permits for 8 single family homes and 3 commercial buildings totaling just over $3 million in construction value.

Public Works in the second quarter made repairs to 136 traffic signals, performed 1365 lane miles of street sweeping, made repairs to 53 street signs, treated 1787 million gallons of wastewater and produced 796 million gallons of potable water.

Middletown Division of Police has been very active in drug enforcement over the past quarter.  Year to date, total drug related arrests are up 28.6% over last year and felony drug arrests are up 40.6% over last year at the same time.  As the drug dealers change their tactics, so do we.    Officer initiated activity, where the officer sees something suspicious and takes action without being dispatched, is up 23.3% over last year.  Our K9 drug dogs continue to pull drugs off the street every day.

We are starting to see some leveling off of overdoses in the second quarter.  While EMS runs are continuing to climb, in the second quarter the Middletown Division of Fire ran 2542 EMS calls for service compared to 2308 for the second quarter last year.

The full reports should be online by the end of the week!

National Media Attention… still

It’s been an interesting week.  We continue to have national media outlets lurking around the city hoping to do another story about how bad opiate addiction is in Middletown.  Forget the rest of Butler and Warren County.  Forget Southwest Ohio.  Forget Ohio.  Forget that it is a national epidemic.

Somehow, they seem to want to focus on Middletown.   I’ve been ambushed by national news reporters this week at the City building and at Triple Moon when I tried to get my morning coffee.  Over the last weekend, national reporters posed as overheated runners and showed up at Fire Headquarters asking for a drink of water and then covertly started questioning the paramedics about heroin addiction.

We have so many wonderful things happening throughout the City.   Employment is high.  New construction is booming.  Income tax is on pace for record levels this year.  We have millions of dollars in capital projects underway throughout the city.

We just finished a great July 4th holiday followed by the Ohio Challenge and  Warrior Weekend to Remember this past weekend.   August 1st is National Night Out with the Middletown Division of Police.  Please plan on coming out as a community at Lefferson Park on August 1.

Opiate addiction is a serious problem throughout the United States.  While I understand the fascination by media, and we watch closely the effect of the epidemic on Middletown, let me put this into another perspective.

The national buzz started when Chief Lolli stated that if we stayed on current overdose levels, we could spend up to $100,000 on Narcan this year.   That is a big number that caught everyone’s attention.   Let’s add some context to that number.

If you go online at the City’s web page, you’ll see that the 2017 budget for the City of Middletown across all funds is $87.6 million.   IF we actually stay on pace and spend $100,000 on Narcan, that represents 0.1% of the budget for 2017.   One tenth of one percent….

We had approximately 600 overdoses in the first half of 2017.  Another big number.  Several of those overdoses were multiple runs for the same individual.  The actual number of patients seen was just under 500.   We are a city of about 50,000 people.  That means overdoses are affecting about 1% of our population.

The devastating effects of addiction are real and the people involved need help.  We have tried as a city to be proactive in that regard.   At the end of the day, however, this is a problem that affects about 1% of our population and potentially drains one tenth of one percent of our budget to save lives with Narcan.    Let’s keep the problem real, not only in terms of lives broken and lost, but also on the real actual effect opiate addiction has on the city’s residents, finances, and resources.

We’re not going bankrupt any time soon from Narcan use.

American Heart Association recognizes Middletown and Monroe Fire Departments

The American Heart Association recognized the Middletown Division of Fire and the Monroe Fire Department at Atrium Medical Center on Monday for their success in reducing heart attack deaths in the community.

AHA 1

Fire Chief Paul Lolli, Captain David VonBargen, the American Heart Association rep and Atrium President Mike Uhl

The City of Middletown Division of Fire received the Mission Lifeline EMS – Silver Award.  To achieve this status, MFD achieved a 75% or higher compliance rate over the past 12 months for the percentage of patients with non-traumatic chest pain over 35 years of age who were transported, treated and received a pre-hospital 12 Lead electrocardiogram and for the percentage of STEMI patients transported to a STEMI Receiving Center, with pre-hospital First Medical Contact to Device in less than 90 minutes.

American Heart Association Award

While that seems fairly technical, this isn’t:   From 2008 to 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a 20% decrease in age-adjusted death rate from heart attacks in our area.  The outstanding care given by your EMS service saves lives.  It’s just that simple.

Our great friends in Monroe received the Mission Lifeline EMS – Bronze status for their great work in the area as well.

AHA 2

Congrats to two outstanding Fire departments for their achievements and awards.  Thanks to both for saving lives in our communities every day.