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George and Alice Strickler

Lead gift from Alice and George Strickler launches extension of campaign with increased goal of $100 million

Summa Health extends “Caring for You … Then, Now, Always” campaign after exceeding initial campaign goal of $75 million

March 16, 2021 – Summa Health announced today that it has surpassed its initial goal of $75 million for the campaign, “Caring for You … Then, Now, Always.” Summa officials also announced the extension of the campaign and a $25 million increase in the campaign goal to $100 million with a lead gift from Akron philanthropists and community leaders George Strickler, chair of the Summa Health Board of Directors, and his wife, Alice. The Stricklers made a leadership gift of $1 million to invest in Summa Health’s commitment to serving the community. 

Surpassing the goal of $75 million was the culmination of a comprehensive campaign to enhance the patient experience and empower clinical excellence. Initially led by Honorary Chair Ann Brennan and more recently Rennick Andreoli, the campaign has supported essential investments for the community — a new state-of-the-art patient tower on the Akron Campus offering new facilities for women’s health, private inpatient rooms, modern nursing units and expanded surgical capabilities; significant renovations and improvements on the Barberton Campus; increased outpatient capacity across the system; and the establishment of endowed clinical chairs, endowed symposia and much more.

The extended campaign with an increased goal of $100 million aligns with Summa Health’s second phase of investment in the community with plans for a new, 60-bed Behavioral Health Pavilion on the Akron Campus, the transition of all services on the St. Thomas Campus to the Akron Campus, the renovation of units in the existing hospital on the Akron Campus to modernize and achieve a higher percentage of private beds, the creation of additional ambulatory space throughout the community and other key projects. 

“The extraordinary success of the campaign is a tribute to the tradition of community support that has benefited Summa Health for more than 125 years,” said Cliff Deveny, M.D., Summa Health president and CEO. “I am grateful to the Stricklers for inspiring the extension of our campaign with their dedicated leadership and generous commitment to Summa Health.” 

Alice Strickler has supported Summa Health as a devoted volunteer and member of the Women’s Board of Summa Health for more than 30 years and as chair of the Orthopedic Institute Leadership Council since its inception. The couple volunteer as members of the Cardiovascular Leadership Council. 

George Strickler is a senior executive with nearly 50 years of global experience leading five major corporations, including publicly traded companies Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Borg Warner in Chicago and Stoneridge, Inc. in Warren, Ohio, and privately held companies Republic Engineered Products and Lake West, Inc. He joined the Summa Health Board of Directors in 2018 and was appointed the new chair in January. He served as a member of the Summa Health Finance Committee for the last four years and was previously a member of the executive committee of the Summa Foundation board for four years.

“Summa Health is our health system, and we are proud to give back so that others in our community can benefit from the excellent care that Summa provides,” said Alice and George Strickler. “They have taken great care of our parents, they take great care of us, and three of our four children were born at Summa Health. We are giving because Summa Health has been part of our family for more than 40 years.”

Community leaders and longtime Summa supporters Tom and Ginny Knoll will chair the extended campaign. He has served on multiple Summa Health boards, including chair of the health system board and the Summa Foundation board.

“Tom and Ginny Knoll have been avid supporters of Summa Health for decades, and we are fortunate to have their leadership in achieving our increased goal,” said Phylis Ferrara, president, Summa Foundation, and chief development officer of Summa Health. “I also am grateful to Rennick Andreoli and Ann Brennan for their leadership in helping us surpass our initial $75 million goal.” 

“Summa has always been a special part of our family,” said Tom and Ginny Knoll. “We are honored to support Summa Health and lead the extended campaign. When we first moved to Akron in 1965, we immediately began volunteering to help out where we were needed in our new community. In that journey, we have gained far more than we have given.” 

In addition to the Stricklers, leading campaign benefactors with gifts totaling more than one-third of the total funds raised are Ann and the late David Brennan, Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams, Yvonne and the late Richard Hamlin, Vanita and James Oelschlager, Nancy and Vincent DiGirolamo, the Dr. Basil E. Smith estate, Dee and Rennick Andreoli, Stephen Comunale, FirstEnergy Foundation, the Verna J. Hancock estate, Patty and Phil Kaufmann, and Denise and Norm Wells.

For additional information regarding the campaign, visit the campaign website or call 330.375.3159.


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