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Community rallies around Summa Health for COVID-19 response

Summa Health’s COVID-19 Response Fund was created in response to requests from members of the community asking how to help our frontline caregivers and the patients we serve. The fund provides critical support to our healthcare heroes as they treat our friends and families, help us acquire much-needed supplies and equipment, and fund innovation that can inspire new treatment methods.

More than $217,000 in community gifts of all sizes have helped to support Summa Health’s response and that number continues to grow. “We are deeply grateful to all of you for supporting Summa Health’s COVID-19 Response Fund,” said Dr. Cliff Deveny, Summa Health president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to additional support from our community as we continue to face this pandemic together."

Generous friends and benefactors to this fund include:

  • United Way of Summit County
  • Tony and Sandy Solaro
  • The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
  • Hasenstab Architects, Inc.
  • Delta Dental Foundation
  • Women’s Board of Summa Health
  • Women's Board of St. Thomas Hospital
  • DuBois Family Foundation

“Standing united with community partners such as United Way of Summit County, the Delta Dental Foundation and the Akron Community Foundation has made all the difference,” said Phylis Ferrara, Summa Foundation president and Summa Health chief development officer. “We are thankful for the continual and meaningful support we have received from these organizations and the entire community during this unprecedented time.”

Leading by example, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company matched every gift, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000, to the COVID-19 Response Fund through May 12. Their generosity inspired $50,000 in gifts from the community, including gifts from The Great Ohio Health Hunt, a project of the DuBois Family Foundation of Kent, and the Women’s Board of Summa Health and the Women's Board of St. Thomas Hospital.

"Goodyear is proud to support Summa Health in the fight against COVID-19," said Laura Duda, Goodyear's senior vice president and chief communications officer. "We are honored to help, and we appreciate the donations of individuals and businesses who joined us to help Summa secure needed supplies and advance treatment options."

Funding provided by the Centering Healthcare Institute will allow Summa Health to purchase digital scales, blood pressure cuffs and monitors for the pregnant women of our CenteringPregnancy® program – who are underinsured and uninsured – and who participate in the program virtually.

In addition to community giving, individuals, corporations and foundations across the region have responded to this crisis with compassion, generously supporting Summa Health’s COVID-19 Response Fund with donations of personal protective equipment, critical care supplies and masks – cumulatively valued at more than $25,000 in further support of Summa Health and its frontline caregivers.

Organizations and corporate partners that have made these impactful gifts include:

  • JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores delivered a truckload of materials
  • GOJO Industries, Inc. donated 1,792 liters of Purell
  • The Greater Cleveland Chinese Community delivered 960 TruAir N95 respirators and 3,000 surgical masks
  • MasksForHope Campaign gave 1,800 medical masks and 40 face shields
  • The University of Akron Department of Biomedical Engineering delivered 4,400 pairs of gloves and 3,040 face shields
  • The Akron Rubber Ducks donated 4,900 pairs of gloves
  • Ford donated 1,250 face shields
  • Medline Industries, Inc. gave 426 surgical gowns, 3,000 pairs of gloves and 1,200 N95 masks

Summa Health employees received numerous donations of food, including free meals from Moe's Restaurant, Rockne's on Merriman/The Hamad Family and Swensons courtesy of a fundraising effort coordinated by Women’s Circle of Health Philanthropists member Kelly Folden. Together with family and friends, she and Tim Gill raised more than $6,500 from 61 donors providing 1,060 meals on April 16. 

Cassie and Joel Testa donated 70 meals from Butcher & Sprout to nurses working in the emergency department and intensive care unit. Local establishments Lil’ Brit Café, Chuck E. Cheese, Honey Baked Ham and Little Caesar’s Pizza donated hundreds of meals to Summa Health employees working around the clock.

While some organizations like Kent State University loaned two Telehealth machines, others innovated new equipment to better protect healthcare workers across the community. Dr. Eric Espinal, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, led the development of improved intubation/extubation boxes, along with his Summa Health colleagues, Thomas Mark, M.D., chief of anesthesiology, and Phillip Khalil, D.O., chief of otolaryngology.

Many of you shared messages of gratitude and support for our healthcare heroes for all they are doing to keep us safe through our Heart of a Hero website gallery. These gestures provided much-needed moral support to the doctors and nurses who treat and advocate for their patients, our EMS partners who respond to every kind of emergency, and the service crews who never stop sanitizing our facilities.

“In our hour of greatest need, members of our community rallied around Summa Health with generosity and compassion. Thank you for helping make our community stronger and healthier for all of us,” said Dr. Deveny.

Visit the COVID-19 Response Honor Roll for the full listing of the many individuals, groups and corporations that have generously supported Summa Health’s pandemic efforts.



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