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Dr. David and Linda Hoff

Hoff gift honors the past, shapes the future of family medicine

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2021 edition of Promise magazine.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Summa Health Family Medicine Residency Program, Dr. David Hoff and his wife, Linda, made a generous gift of $100,000 to establish an endowed fund for program directors.  

The anniversary was a milestone for Dr. Hoff, who was the first graduate of the program and its second director. He joined the family medicine residency program in 1970, the first year the program was offered. He entered as a third-year resident, having already completed two years of residency in general practice. 

After graduating in 1971, he served two years in the military. At the request of his superiors, he set up the first family medicine residency program for the United States Air Force. 

When he returned to civilian life – and Summa Akron City – he worked with Dr. Edward Shahady, the first director, developing the educational policies and innovations that became the national standard in family medicine training programs.  

“I always wanted to be a doctor,” said Dr. Hoff, “because I love people.” He had fond memories of the doctor who had cared for his family growing up. He wanted that close, long-term relationship with his patients, a core tenet of family medicine. 

Dr. Hoff’s love of people found perfect expression in family medicine, shaping the physician he became and finding its way into the curriculum that shaped others. In addition to developing clinical excellence, Summa’s residents learned the skills of active listening and how to “read” both verbal and nonverbal patient cues, essential skills in providing lifelong care.

Concurrent with his influential role at Summa Akron City, Dr. Hoff served for 30 years as a consultant in the Residency Assistance Program, a project supported by four national family practice organizations. In that capacity, he helped to start up family medicine residency programs at more than 60 hospitals across the United States.  

More than 300 Summa-trained family medicine physicians now practice at home and around the world. With perpetual support in place for current and future program directors, the legacy of Dr. Hoff, Dr. Shahady and all former directors will continue for generations to come.

Click here to contribute to the Family Medicine Residency Program Director’s Endowment Fund or contact Barbara Boyce at 330.375.6356 or


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