AKRON, Ohio, August 19, 2014 – Summa Health System today announced that Tom Strauss, president and CEO for 15 years, is retiring effective De
cember 31, 2014. Strauss, 61, has guided Summa through some of the most challenging and tumultuous times in healthcare. Today the health system is stronger than ever with $1.7 billion in annual revenue and is Summit County’s largest employer with approximately 10,000 employees. After his retirement, Strauss will continue advancing the system through community engagement with the Summa Foundation.
In making the announcement, Summa Health System Board Chair Norm Wells said, “Tom has been a true visionary who has shaped Summa Health System into the area’s clear healthcare leader. I don’t know of anyone who cares about Summa more than Tom. He exemplifies all you want in a CEO: a brilliant mind com
bined with a deep, genuine passion to provide the absolute best care for our patients. He will be truly missed.”
Wells went on to say, “Tom is leaving Summa well-positioned to continue its leadership role in the healthcare industry and for that we are thankful. Over the past two years, Tom has helped Summa select a partner, HealthSpan, which positions Summa to play a key role in the future of healthcare delivery in Akron, Summit County and throughout the state of Ohio. He has assembled a strong, talented leadership team, including the addition of two key physician executives.”
Wells also noted that the Summa Board is in the process of appointing a CEO Search Committee and will conduct a comprehensive review for Strauss’ replacement with a strong focus on internal candidates. “We expect a smooth transition over the next few months, and will conduct a national search only if necessary. We are an outstanding system and, as such, expect a great deal of interest in this position.”
Strauss joined Summa in 1999 after serving as president of the four-hospital Meridia Health Services in Cleveland. A pharmacist by trade, Strauss worked for a number of years in private industry, having held several management positions at Baxter Health Corporation prior to his tenure at Meridia.
A longtime committed civic and community leader, Strauss is a member of the boards of the Greater Akron Chamber, the Akron Regional Hospital Association, Akron Tomorrow, the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, BioEnterprise and TeamNEO.
“Healthcare is undergoing seismic change,” said Strauss. “But the one thing that has remained constant is our commitment to our patients. That is what I am most proud of. We became a premier healthcare system by never losing sight of that. We never will lose sight of that.”
Strauss and his wife, Susan, reside in Cuyahoga Falls.
About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio and is one of only two health systems in northeast Ohio accredited by the American College of Radiation. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and the Summa Foundation, 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 www.summahealth.org
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