I have had the privilege of delivering babies at Medina Hospital for the past 30 years. I have seen its transformation from a small farmhouse with awkward attachments to a state-of-the-art medical facility. What has not changed is the professionalism and the skill of the nurses and doctors.

For the Cleveland Clinic to close the Family Birthing Center is callous and indicates a total disregard of the community.

I have always lived within five minutes of the hospital. Ninety percent of my patients live within 20 minutes of the hospital. That proximity is hugely important in the face of an emergency.

Patients in the throes of labor or with an obstetrical emergency will now have to travel at least 30 to 40 minutes to receive care that was previously just around the corner. This is not a happy thought at 3 a.m. during a January snowstorm.

It would be one thing if the level of care provided to pregnant women was substandard, but it was not. The number of families, from 800 to 1,000 a year, who chose to deliver at Medina Hospital yearly has been very consistent over my career.

The decision to close the center is not about the number of women who choose to deliver elsewhere, it is about those who choose to stay. It is disingenuous to say this move is not about money.

The Cleveland Clinic should at least show some respect toward our community by admitting what it is, a cost-saving decision.

This closing is a betrayal by the Cleveland Clinic of the people of Medina County and the promise it made when it took control of our hospital.

Patrick J. Naples, M.D.

Medina

Go statewide ?on stormwater

The March 19 editorial on stormwater management was a subtle opportunity to knock the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office on a ruling that municipalities with stormwater fees cannot be forced to join a comprehensive county flood management plan (“Volunteer for flood control”).

The editorial board then chose to direct its next salvo at Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker for his idea on a voluntary stormwater district. The board’s solution was to post the same autocratic proposal it has floated over the past 18 years: Eliminate this elective office and make it an appointed position under the county executive, an idea that has been rejected twice by voters in Summit County.

If the goal is to have a comprehensive flood management plan, it will have to come from the state of Ohio. County lines are not observed by storm­water. Ohio has a state highway system, so why not a state water plan to deal with all watersheds?

Paul Schweikert

Trustee

Sagamore Hills Township

Why the poor ?stay that way

I am responding to the March 19 commentary “How to make the poor poorer.” In it, Catherine Rampell argues that Republicans would “force poor people to have more children than they want or believe they can afford.”

How is it our responsibility for the choices of poor people? The way I see it, they don’t use the programs offered to them to get out of poverty, they use them as a way of life. So cut away, Mr. President.

Jerry Dean

Akron