Healthy dose of hospital news

Last week was a memorable one for Treasure Coast hospitals.

The day before the final vote on the ballyhooed sale of Indian River Medical Center to Cleveland Clinic, Martin Health announced it had signed its own definitive agreement to become a part of the Cleveland Clinic system.

Martin has three hospitals – two in Stuart and the Tradition Medical Center in St. Lucie County – as well as 10 other clinics, labs and offices.

Martin negotiated a deal to get twice the capital expenditure from Cleveland in half the time – $500 million in five years, compared to Vero Beach’s $250 million over 10 years – but its Stuart hospital still has some semi-private rooms and desperately needs a bigger emergency department.

In Vero, the hospital sale was marked by an unprecedented unanimous agreement by both the Indian River Medical Center board and the public Hospital District trustees on the future of medical care for our community.

“This is one of the most important things I think the board will ever do for this community,” Chairman Wayne Hockmeyer told the IRMC board of directors gathered in a hospital conference room. And across the street at Hospital District headquarters: “This is the most important vote we will ever have as a group,” said Chairwoman Marybeth Cunningham. “The outcome will have ramifications far beyond this year, or the following few years, but for decades to come in this community.”

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