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Members of the Circle of Women's Health Philanthropists at their 2019 holiday celebration.

Circle awards $150,000 in grants for first time

Three Summa programs benefit from philanthropic women's group

The Summa Foundation Circle of Women’s Health Philanthropists had much to celebrate at its annual Holiday Celebration on Tuesday, December 17, at the home of Cindy and Mike Kelley. For the first time since its inception in 2013, The Circle was able to fund three grants in support of its mission of women helping women.

“I’m so proud of our members, the strides we’ve made and what we’ve been able to accomplish. Our growing group of 70 women strong is helping to advance healthcare for women in a number of ways,” said Ginger Marchetta, outgoing chair of The Circle.

Membership growth and the increase in combined contributions led to The Circle granting $150,000 this year, bringing its total to $515,000 in grants awarded since the group formed in 2013.

The three grants will support Summa Health Palliative Care, Pride Clinic and the Research and Cancer Institutes.

With a grant from The Circle, Palliative Care will now offer a new program, “Caring for the Caregiver,” to help address compassion fatigue and burnout among caregivers.

In September 2019, The Circle helped the Summa Health Medical Group open a Summa Health Pride Clinic in the Chapel Hill area focused on the primary healthcare needs of the LGBTQ+ community in the Akron region. This year’s grant is providing additional funding to the Pride Clinic for a full-time social worker who will be available to counsel clinic patients.

Finally, with help from a Circle grant, the Research and Cancer Institutes will be focusing on personalized cancer therapy research with zebrafish, a promising study that could lead to cutting-edge cancer treatments at Summa Health.

Phylis Ferrara, president of Summa Foundation and chief development officer of Summa Health, recognized and thanked Ginger Marchetta for her three years serving as chair and as a steering committee member since 2013.

“Under Ginger’s leadership, membership has more than doubled in the last three years, two new membership societies were introduced, and seven grants totaling $350,000 have boosted Summa Health programs. We are well-positioned for future growth.”

Incoming chair Colleen Wernig will begin her tenure in January 2020. She and her husband, Mark, are long-time supporters of Summa Health. She is a Marie Lawson member of The Circle, and he currently serves on the Summa Foundation Board of Directors and the Summa Health Legacy Advisor Leadership Council.


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