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Foundation Board Spotlight on Karen Budd

As a member of the Summa Foundation Board of Directors, which has oversight of all philanthropic efforts across the health system, Karen Budd joins other caring community members to support patient care, research and medical education at Summa Health. We asked her why she gives back to Summa Health.

What inspired you to get involved at Summa Health? 

My first position in nursing was teaching maternity nursing at Akron City Hospital School of Nursing. This foundational experience included conversations with Doug Wert, one of the hospital administrators, about the future of healthcare and nursing education, and ultimately led to many years of my teaching women’s health nursing to graduate nursing students and research in women’s health. In the last decade, prior to my retirement from Kent State University in 2011, I became aware of Summa Health’s increasing focus on population health and achieving holistic health outcomes for defined groups, one of which is women. So, I welcomed the opportunity in retirement to contribute in any way I could to that effort as a volunteer.

Tell us about your various leadership roles at Summa Health including the Summa Foundation Board of Directors, Women’s Board of Summa Health and The Circle of Women’s Health Philanthropists.

My entrée into the role of Summa volunteer came through joining the Women’s Board of Summa Health and volunteering in the Gift Shop. Contributing as I could to the Women’s Board’s efforts to support the patient’s experience, particularly that of women, has been very satisfying. As Women’s Board president, I became even more aware of Summa Health’s fine leadership and the impressive effort of all to help the populations we serve to attain, regain and maintain a high level of health. Being a part of that effort, if even in a small, intangible way by sitting on the Foundation Board of Directors, and financially contributing to Summa’s women’s health research efforts through membership in The Circle of Women’s Health Philanthropists also is extremely satisfying.

What would you tell others about the importance of giving back to Summa Health?

Supporting Summa Health in any way through volunteering, monetary gifts and advocacy helps this fine organization achieve its mission to provide the highest quality care and contribute to a healthier community.


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