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It’s Time to Start the “Conversation”

Date: 03.31.2014
Contact: Jim Gosky Phone: (234) 312-5052

Akron, OH March 31, 2014 – Summa Health System, along with Northeast Ohio Medical University, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron General and the University of Akron, is bringing Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and co-founder of “The Conversation Project,” Ellen Goodman to town April 8 for a daylong professional conference and an evening program that is open to the public. The daytime conference, entitled “Beginning the Conversation about End-of-Life Wishes,” runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Akron Children’s Hospital, while the evening event, “Ellen Goodman and The Conversation Project,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. at E.J. Thomas Hall on the University of Akron campus.
The professional conference, designed for those who work in health care, civic, legal, financial and faith-based organizations, will explore the uncertainties many people experience when faced with having to make decisions for a loved one. “The Conversation Project” is a national initiative created to encourage and assist people to talk with their families and their health care providers about their wishes for care if they become seriously ill.
That evening, Goodman will engage those in attendance in further discussion about end-of-life wishes. Goodman, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary in 1980, has spent most of her life chronicling social change and its impact on American life. In 2010, she co-founded “The Conversation Project, a grassroots public campaign, when a group of colleagues and concerned media, clergy and medical professionals gathered to share stories of “good deaths” and “bad deaths” within their own circle of loved ones.
Goodman began her career as a researcher for Newsweek magazine and began writing her popular column for The Boston Globe in 1974. The column has been syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group since 1976 and appears in more than 300 newspapers nationwide.  She has written eight books and won many other national awards, including the Ernie Pyle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
Tickets for the University of Akron Forum Series event are $10 for the general public and are available at the E.J. Thomas Hall ticket office, all Ticketmaster locations or For additional information, visit
“This is a great opportunity to hear a wonderful speaker and to participate in a workshop both aimed at changing the culture of caring and communication around health care in our community,” said Steven “Skip” Radwany, MD, Medical Director of Hospice and Palliative Care for Summa Health System. “It’s time we take these conversations out of the Intensive Care Unit and move them back to the kitchen table where they belong in order to reduce the stress of serious illness on our loved ones.”

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