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Yvonne and Richard Hamlin

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2022 edition of Promise magazine.

At the heart of the Hamlin Family: Helping build a home-based palliative program

The longtime legacy of the late Richard Hamlin and his wife, Yvonne, transformed cardiovascular care and propelled Summa Health to the forefront of patient care in the last decade. 

Before Richard’s passing in February 2021, there came to light an extraordinary gift demonstrating the Hamlin family’s gratitude for Dr. Melissa Soltis, system medical director of the Complex Care Institute, for the exemplary care that she and the palliative care team provided. The meaningful generosity of the Hamlin family will help build a robust, home-based palliative care program that meets the specific physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each patient and family. 

“We are grateful to the Hamlin family for providing support for end-of-life care at Summa Health. Through their generosity, we can guide each patient and family to find comfort and care during their most difficult days. Because of the Hamlin family, now this care can be provided at home,” said Dr. Soltis. 

In grateful recognition, Summa Health named the family lounge on the Acute Hospice and Palliative Care Unit (3 East) on the Akron Campus in honor of the couple and their legacy of kindness and giving. 

Prior to this recent gift from the Hamlins, the couple donated $4 million in 2013 for the creation of a hybrid cardiovascular operating room, named the Richard M. and Yvonne Hamlin Hybrid Operating Suite.

A continuing stream of local, regional and national recognition for excellence in cardiovascular care stands in testimony to the excellence the Hamlins supported through their transformational generosity. Today, Summa Health is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by IBM® Watson Health®. This is the second consecutive year Summa Health has earned this recognition and is the only health system in Northeast Ohio to receive the designation in 2022. In 2020, the Akron Campus became the first health system in Ohio and the ninth in the nation to be certified by the American College of Cardiologists for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). 

“Known as ‘The Hamlin’ among Summa’s cardiovascular team of physicians, the operating room suite has made it possible for more than 1,000 patients to undergo the TAVR procedure since 2014,” said Dr. Michael Hughes, president, Summa Health System — Barberton Campus and Wadsworth-Rittman Medical Center. 

The Hamlin Hybrid Operating Suite also advances the ability of Summa Health to test new and exciting developments in cardiovascular care. One of those developments involves the left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which was successfully implanted for the first time this year. 

For more information about supporting palliative care at Summa Health, please contact Barbara Boyce at 330.375.6356 or


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