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'The future of healthcare begins here today'

Dedication celebration highlights gifts to Summa that facilitated historic new Akron patient tower

On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, exactly two years after breaking ground, Summa Health gathered its most generous supporters and volunteer leaders to dedicate, celebrate and tour the new seven-story patient tower on the Akron Campus.

Festivities began with exclusive pre-dedication ribbon cuttings at five select spaces recognizing generous gifts to the campaign for Summa Health, “Caring for You … Then, Now, Always.” Namesakes and well-wishers celebrated at the Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Center for Breast Health, the Dee and Rennick Andreoli Courtyard, the FirstEnergy Foundation Patient Floor, the Lehner Family Foundation lobby art honoring Gordon Ewers, and the Dr. Ernest R. and Bonnie L. Estep Labor and Delivery Lobby.

“The patient tower started as a vision and became a reality because of your commitment to the healthcare of our community,” said Dr. Cliff Deveny, Summa Health president and chief executive officer.

"Thank you for helping Summa reach this historic pinnacle in caring for the Akron region,” Dr. Deveny said. He then acknowledged the visionary leadership and foundational support of Ann and the late David Brennan, Vanita and Jim Oelschlager, Dr. and Mrs. Gary B. Williams, Yvonne and Richard Hamlin, and Nancy and Vincent DiGirolamo.

Anthony Lockhart, chair of Summa Health Board of Directors, highlighted the significance of the ceremony, saying, “The future of healthcare begins here today with the opening of our new patient tower, the centerpiece of our $350 million investment in the healthcare of the communities we serve.”

Adding to the excitement, Dr. Deveny announced a new $1 million gift from philanthropist and longtime volunteer leader Steve Comunale, honoring his late wife, Jane. Dr. Deveny also revealed the name of the circular drive leading to the main entrance of the new tower — “Ann Brennan Way” — in honor of Ann Brennan for her lifetime of volunteer leadership at Summa Health.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, one of the many dignitaries and officials in attendance, said, “The world-class medical care that will happen here is what will truly make this building so remarkable.”

Following the invocation by Rev. Ronald Fowler, senior pastor of the Arlington Church of God, supporters took positions along a 25-foot ribbon. Each represented a Summa Health constituency, including donors, volunteer leaders, board members, executives, physicians and nurses, government officials, architects and contractors, and religious leaders. Leading up to that moment, vocalist Jaron LeGrair captured the Summa Health promise to all patients in a beautiful, a capella rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” 

For more information about the campaign for Summa Health and to explore naming opportunities, visit


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