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Estep honored with Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award

Beloved doctor was mentor to a generation of physicians

Ernest R. Estep, M.D., an icon to a generation of patients and physicians in Akron, has been honored with the 2018 Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award.

The health system’s highest physician honor was announced by Cliff Deveny, M.D., interim president and chief executive officer of Summa Health, on May 24 during the Summa Society Celebration — the health system’s annual donor recognition dinner — at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

Dr. Estep was a trusted mentor to countless doctors — and many current Summa Health leaders, including Dr. Deveny — and delivered thousands of babies during nearly 40 years as an obstetrician and gynecologist. Among patients, he earned a sterling reputation as a conscientious and caring physician.

“The Distinguished Physician Award recognizes an exceptional clinician, educator and leader who has had tremendous impact on Summa Health and the patients we serve,” Dr. Deveny said. “Dr. Estep was all of that and so much more for so many. He is highly deserving of this honor.”

Dr. Estep served in a variety of leadership positions, including medical staff president from 1986-89 and on the Summa Health board of directors from 1988-1999, before retiring in 2004. His leadership also extended into the community as a founding member of the Medical Society of Greater Akron and its board of directors in 1996, serving as its president in 1999. He also has been a longtime board member of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Countryside Conservancy, Akron Community Foundation and Bath United Church of Christ.

The Tiffin native graduated from his hometown college, Heidelberg, in 1963, and has served on its board of trustees since 2000. He married his high school sweetheart — and fellow avid gardener — Bonnie in 1964. The couple’s beautiful, 11-acre Bath Township estate, which is cataloged in the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Gardens, was featured in the March/April 2018 issue of Ohio Gardener magazine.

Previous winners of the Distinguished Physician Award
 are Gary B. Williams, M.D. (2017); Robert Liebelt, Ph.D., M.D. (2016); and the late James Tan, M.D. (2015).


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