On May 24, 2018, Richard M. and Yvonne Hamlin, longtime philanthropic leaders at Summa Health and in Northeast Ohio, were honored with the prestigious Summa Health Boniface DeRoo Award for Philanthropy.
The award, named for the unassuming Akron blacksmith who bequeathed his entire estate more than 125 years ago to create what is now Summa Health, is the highest honor given to Summa Health benefactors. Only two other couples — Ann and David Brennan in 2014 and Nancy and Vincent DiGirolamo in 2015 — have been so honored.
Cliff Deveny, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Summa Health, announced the award Thursday night during the Summa Society Celebration — the health system’s annual donor recognition dinner — at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn. “We are profoundly grateful for the tremendous support that the Hamlins have shown to Summa Health and the well-being of our community,” Dr. Deveny said. “They have strengthened the ability of Summa Health to care for generations of patients in multiple ways.”
Grateful for the care their family had always received from Summa Health, the Hamlins, lifelong Akron residents who met at the old Garner Brothers Drive-In, generously committed $4 million to Summa Health in 2013, the largest single gift to the health system at the time. The Richard M. and Yvonne Hamlin Hybrid Operating Room Suite, named in their honor, elevated the heart and vascular program at Summa Health to one of the best in the country. The Hamlins’ generosity gave Summa Health physicians the ability to perform a full range of advanced cardiovascular procedures, including some not previously offered in the Akron region.
Other areas of patient care generously supported by the Hamlins include palliative care, cancer care, breast cancer research, the Stroke Center renovation, and medical education and research. The couple participates today as volunteer leaders on the Summa Health Heart and Vascular Institute Leadership Council, service that complements their remarkable generosity to the heart program.
The Hamlins’ long history of philanthropy extends beyond Summa Health and the Akron region. Hamlin Hall and Hamlin Quad at John Carroll University, Mr. Hamlin’s alma mater, are named in the couple’s honor. The university also recognized Mr. Hamlin, a retired business leader, as one of the “50 finest graduates” of the Boler School of Business.
The Hamlins, married for nearly 66 years, were born at what is now Summa Health System — St. Thomas campus. The have four children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.