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Women's Board of Summa Health

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

Women's Board of Summa Health: Celebrating 100 years of service and support 

Through their camaraderie and compassion, the Women’s Board of Summa Health has made a significant impact on patients and their families for the last century. This treasured group of women has inspired support of nearly $8 million and volunteered over 350,000 hours to fulfill their mission of advancing patient care and comfort since the Women’s Board was founded in 1922. Hundreds of women have been part of the board over the years, touching the lives of countless patients through their efforts, from mending linens in the early days to raising money for major expansion projects and advanced medical equipment today. 

Members have helped the hospital acquire vital medical equipment for nearly every department from contributing significantly to renovating the mother-baby units to the construction of the Jean B. and Milton Cooper Pavilion on the Akron Campus and scholarships for nurses. A member of the Thomas W. Cornell Philanthropic Leadership Society, the Women’s Board ranks among the most generous benefactors of Summa Health. In 2022, the Women’s Board will celebrate 100 years of service at a special event on September 8, 2022.

Through the years with the Women's Board 

  • Today’s Women’s Board was founded in 1922 as the Women’s Auxiliary Board of Akron City Hospital with 28 charter members.
  • The Women’s Board organized popular rummage sales. The first one held in April 1930 netted $784.45. The subsequent 152 sales became legendary and until 2007 earned more than $700,000.
  • Members also have provided holiday decorations and small gifts for patients during the holiday season at the Akron Campus and maintained the hospital’s chapel among many other projects. n In 1958, a subsidiary Junior Board was founded by the Women’s Auxiliary Board, and in 2007, the two organizations merged.
  • Another early project was the Flower Fund which became the Memorial Research Fund in early 1960.
  • Since 1976, the gift shop has served as the main fundraiser for the Women’s Board fueling philanthropic projects across the hospital system.
  • A celebration ceremony was held August 9, 1978, to mark the completion of “Chronos,” the large stainless steel sculpture designed to symbolize the infinite aspirations in medicine and dedicated in honor of the Women’s Auxiliary Board.
  • With the 1992 Centennial Celebration of the Akron City Hospital Campus, the Women’s Board sponsored the “Party in the Park,” contributing $7,430 to the II Century Endowment Fund for education.
  • The first jewelry sale in 1993 started a successful trend of hospital sales.
  • Summa Health’s first Sapphire Ball provided a glittering start to the 2001- 2002 year for the Women’s Board. Many projects were funded as a result.
  • In 2019, the Women’s Board was presented with the Boniface DeRoo Award for Philanthropy, the health system’s highest philanthropic honor.

For more information about the Women’s Board of Summa Health, contact Shelley Green at 330.375.6891 or


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