Beacon Journal staff

RAVENNA: A national health-care consulting firm has recommended Portage County move forward with plans to convert Robinson Memorial Hospital from county ownership to nonprofit status.

The Camden Group reviewed the hospital`s proposed ownership change at the request of the Portage County commissioners.

The firm “concurs that conversion from public to not-for-profit status is appropriate and justified at this time,” according to a news release issued by the hospital Tuesday.

The reviewers recommended any agreement also include provisions in case the hospital subsequently is sold —  a move they said “might be necessary and ultimately in the best interest of the county, the community and the patients served by the hospital,” according to the report.

Commissioners already approved a plan to convert Robinson from county ownership to not-for-profit status, pending approval of a final lease between the county and the community board that would be created to oversee hospital business.