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New community-based health center opens doors in West Akron March 5

Date: 02.28.2012
Contact: Erica Rosenthal Phone: (330) 375-3052

WEST AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 28, 2012– Summa Health System celebrated last night the opening of the Summa Center at New Seasons in West Akron. The 10,000 square-foot health center is the anchor commercial tenant in the Village at New Seasons, which opened in April 2011 across the street from The House of the Lord.

The Summa Center at New Seasons will provide the community with primary care services, health education and public health solutions through evidence-based protocols and community partnerships. Under the leadership of Dr. E. Demond Scott, along with Drs. Teresa Myers and Elina Shakya, the facility aims to transform the health of the community through prevention and education.

West Akron is home to some 20,000 residents, most of them African-American, many affected by obesity, hypertension and diabetes. West Akron also is a medically underserved neighborhood, which means that when residents ended up in the emergency department it was sometimes because of non-urgent issues, other times because they had no other option and many more times because of conditions that were preventable but had gone untreated for too long.

“Our goal is to get and keep people healthy and we’ll achieve that by providing high-quality care and empowering people to take an active role in their health,” said Dr. Scott, executive director of health equity at the Summa Center at New Seasons. “But we didn’t want to just open our doors and wait for people to come – we want to be a part of the community and work alongside residents and local businesses. We encourage individuals to not only come to us for healthcare, but also to share with us ideas on what health education and services are needed and how we can best provide them to the community. In order to make healthy changes, we need to be in this together.”

The Summa Center at New Seasons includes six exam rooms, plus a procedure and phlebotomy room as well as LabCare for laboratory testing. The 1,900 square-foot community room, which can be divided into three separate areas, features computer work stations available to the public, space for classes and meetings and a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes. There also will be a children’s area, meeting rooms and research offices. Summa Physicians Inc. Drs. Scott, Myers and Shakya will be available to begin seeing patients on March 5, 2012.

“We believe this model of care will lead to decreased visits to the emergency department, decreased admissions, decreased acuity and a decreased length of stay for those who need to be admitted,” said Summa Foundation COO Steven P. Schmidt, Ph.D. “For example, if we can teach individuals how to effectively manage their diabetes through diet and exercise, the potential downstream impact could be a decrease in amputations from diabetes complications.”

According to the Summit County Health District’s Office of Minority Health, African-American adults in Summit County are more likely to die from diabetes or conditions brought on by high blood pressure.

To make an appointment or for more information, call 330-865-5333.

How It All Started
In 1974, Bishop Joey Johnson founded The House of the Lord in West Akron with a congregation of four. Today, the church has 7,000-plus members. Several years ago, The House of the Lord purchased land across the street where an abandoned shopping center stood but was unable to raise the funds to develop the property. Bishop Johnson also began to realize that the health of his congregation was failing – and there was something he could do about it.

He approached long-time partner Summa Health System and together, came up with a plan to build a health clinic. Knowing that simply inserting a new facility in the decaying shopping plaza wouldn’t work, Summa reached out to Testa Companies. From there, the vision grew to include retail space and affordable housing for senior citizens – another long time dream of Johnson’s. Testa then brought in the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC) to develop and manage the senior living apartments.

In the end, on a site that sat vacant with an empty shopping center collecting dust, graffiti and trash, became home to the Village at New Seasons, an $11.4 million complex with senior living apartments, retail space and the Summa Center at New Seasons. The more than 115,000 square foot facility was developed through the combined efforts of the House of the Lord, the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation, Testa Companies, Summa Health System and other investors. The residential space encompasses nearly 75,000 square feet and includes 50 one- and two-bedroom apartments for senior citizens. The 40,000 square feet of commercial space includes retailers and the Summa Center at New Seasons.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at