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Gifts to Summa Health are vital

Posted December 18, 2018 by Barbara Boyce Summa Health Foundation

summa giving

As another year comes to a close and a time of giving nears, please consider a gift to Summa Health. Summa is committed to providing the highest quality, compassionate care to our patients and to contribute to a healthier community. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on philanthropic support to remain on the forefront of healthcare excellence and innovation, educate the next generation of caregivers and care for all in need.

Below are a few stories about the impact of philanthropy, and how you can help.  

Emergency care

The day Shannon needed life-saving medical care, she was a healthy, 40-year-old wife and mother. She then suffered an unexpected heart attack from a completely blocked artery. She was also suffering from massive internal bleeding. She was placed in the hands of Peter Bittenbender, M.D., and the staff at Summa Health.

“Summa Health provided me coordinated care, delivered by a multidisciplinary team of experts, and I survived a one percent chance of recovery. Three different medical teams helped me to recover from two conditions that are treated in the completely opposite way. It was through their incredibly compassionate care that I am here today. Between the day of my heart attack and through my rehab, countless Summa Health physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals worked together to restore my health and give my family and me hope in our greatest time of need.”

When you make a gift to Summa Health, you are also investing in the health of our community. Gifts that provide funding for research, education and technological advancements, keeping Summa Health at the forefront of medicine. More on Shannon’s story and recovery here.

Gifting a legacy

When Kachig “Joe” Miktarian came from Armenia to the United States at the age of 17, he was a driven young man who knew in America, with hard work, you could achieve anything. He established himself in Akron and sent for his sweetheart and future wife in Armenia, Dicranuhi.

Joe founded his first store in 1920, a confectionary store on East Market Street near Adolph Street. In 1933, he opened Joe’s All Star Café in the same general vicinity. When the Route 8 expressway was being constructed, the café relocated to its final location on East Market Street between Arch and Adams streets near the Summa Health – Akron Campus.

In 2000, when the Miktarians sold Joe’s All Star Café to Summa Health, their legacy of giving continued with a generous estate gift to support the mission of the health system to provide the highest quality, compassionate care to Akron area patients and their families.

“My grandfather loved Akron, and Akron was good to him. I think he would be proud today to know that our family’s gift to Summa Health in his memory is helping so many,” said his granddaughter Patty Miktarian Spencer. You can learn more about the Miktarian’s incredible gift here.

Personal touches to care

When the owners of Pleasant Valley Corporation, Barbara and Gino Faciana, learned about a volunteer-staffed program called the Comfort Cart, they knew that they and their generous staff could make a meaningful impact in the lives of Summa Health patients. The Comfort Cart provides patients and visitors at Summa Health with free personal care and other travel-size items.

How to give:

There are a variety of ways to make a gift and every single donation makes a difference:

  • A bequest is one of the easiest gifts to arrange. With the help of your attorney or advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift be made to Summa Health. Samples of this language are available on our gift planning website. You can designate a percentage of your remaining assets or a specific amount to support an area that is meaningful to you.
  • One smart planning option is to include Summa Health as a beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement account. It is as simple as requesting a beneficiary designation form from your retirement plan administrator and adding Summa Health as a beneficiary. This gift option will save your heirs taxes, and you can direct other tax-free assets to family and loved ones.
  • Another creative way to make a future gift is through a life insurance policy or a commercial annuity you may already own. Naming Summa Health as a beneficiary of all or a portion of either asset is a simple and smart way to give. If you have a life insurance policy and are currently paying premiums on the policy, you can change ownership to Summa Health and receive a charitable tax deduction for the premium payments you make each year. This option would allow you to arrange a legacy gift in an amount larger than you may be able to do during your lifetime.

Once you make your decision to include Summa Health in your future gift plans, Summa Health Foundation will provide you with a simple one-page form to complete confirming your gift commitment and welcome you as a member of the Charles Deering Legacy Society, unless you request anonymity.

If you would like more information or if you have already included Summa in your will or future plans, please contact Barbara Boyce, Senior Director of Gift Planning at 330.375.6356 or to request a confidential Legacy Gift Form. You may also request a free Wills Planner to help you in your planning.


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If your situation is an emergency, call 911.