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Patient Stories


Maria Velasquez

Primary Care Patient

Maria is grateful for the multi-generational and compassionate care she and her daughter receive at Summa Health.


Maria: The first time I came to Summa Family Medicine is when I learned that I was pregnant with my daughter, Amari Velasquez. And 18 years later, I'm still there with Dr. Brooke Babyak.

Dr. Brooke Babyak is also my daughter's doctor. The fact that she can relate to all generations in our family, it's very, very important to me. She has been with me with challenging times. The worst was my breast cancer.

She held my hand. She would call me just to see how I'm doing. She's still with me and I love her. And Amari loves, adores her too. She looks at Amari like her little sister. That's our family doctor , and we would love to be with Dr. Brooke Babyak 'til the rest of our days.


Arnold Oden

Primary Care Patient

For first time in his life, felt that a doctor really cared about him


Arnold: In 2004, that's when I really turned my life around at the house of the Lord. And it was Bishop Johnson that referred me to Summa Health Equity Center. Thank you, Bishop.

At the New Season Health Clinic, Dr. Pankey makes you feel that he really care about you. And I never felt that before in a doctor in my whole life I felt confident in him and he just took charge. My cholesterol was off the charts. I was right at the point of having a stroke and Dr. Pankey gave me this medication and over with, no high cholesterol period now, none.

I got my mom going there now, my sister, my auntie, my friends, I just tell everybody, 64 years old, strong as red devil's lies, all because of Dr. Pankey and New Seasons.


Ron Burgess

A multi-generational primary care patient of Dr. Jay Williamson


Ron: I am the third of four generations under the care of Dr. J. Williamson. Dr. Williamson's whole team over at the primary care is just fantastic.

They do a great job at Summa. He took care of my grandmother, grandfather, my mother, my father, myself, my sister, and my sister's daughter. So, I was like an extended family member. My mother swears she was the first patient for Dr. Williamson, and right out of medical school.

He really goes the extra effort. He calls my mother at home and takes extra time in the office visits. He visited my father in the nursing home, for example. He's patient with his patient.

What I've always felt is really nice that he knows the heritage from my grandmother, grandfather, and so forth all the way down to me, so it makes it nice that he knows my history.

He's a local guy, he's just... I see him at the Wally Waffle and whether or not that's his approved diet or not.

But if he ever retires from Summa, moves to Florida, I just might have to move down there as well!


Olga Kurtz

Doing everything she wants to do, with primary care support.


Olga: 35 years ago I was looking for a doctor when I moved back to Akron, and I went to Summa Health and loved it.

I'm 90 years old, and I give Summa credit for keeping me going.

I've had a heart attack, four catheterizations, two carotid surgeries and a partridge in a pear tree. I've had it all with Summa.

Dr. Teagarden is my family medicine doctor now. I really adore her. She explains everything to me. We discuss things together. We make decisions together.

One of the things that keeps me going is just curiosity. I love to discover new things. You can't do the things you want to do if you are not healthy. And Summa helps me to do the things I want to do.

For my age I think I'm doing pretty well. I've written four books. I'm on my fifth book. And I think that's pretty good.


Doris Roberts

At Summa for 58 years, it's a comfort and warmness that stands out.


Doris: I have been in the care of Summa Health for 58 years. I gave birth there to my three beautiful daughters, and my grandchildren were born at Summa Health. Then I went to Summa for two knee replacements and a hip replacement. My family and I have been one of Summa's best customers.

Dr. Platt was my family doctor for 56 years. Used to call me "Saint Doris." I still go to Summa for my primary care.

I feel very welcome there. It's the warmness of the people. It's the loving, tender greeting that they greet you with.

I don't want to go back to the hospital, but it is comforting to know if I have to, that Summa is right here in my back yard.


John Livers

Heart patient enjoys renewed energy


John: My doctor's name is Vivek Bhalla, but I call him "Vick." He's been my family physician for several years. He's more like a friend than my doctor. I ask him several times to go golfing and I need to get him out of the office.

I was in the airport and I started walking and I had some serious chest pain and shortness of breath, and I called Dr. Bhalla, and he said immediately go over to the ER. I had 90% blockage on the artery they call the "widowmaker," and they reassured us that when we got there that everything was going to be ok. And so they put in a stent. Saved my life.

Very nice, they treated me like I was a guest more than a patient. Thanks to the people at Summa Health, and thank God for Dr. Bhalla, and for getting me to the hospital right away, or I probably wouldn't be here.

It's fixed my heart problem, but it hasn't helped my golf game any. I'm still just the hacker like I was before. But at least now I'm enjoying it better.


Oz Simons

Lifelong patient creates a friendship


Carol: My dad's been under the care of Dr. Jay Williamson for 45 years. Dr. Williamson is perfect.

Oz: We've been buddies for a long time. He came to my birthday party the other day I was surprised to see him there. Well I'm 100 years old. I told him he can take credit for that.

Carol: He's a lot of support for me as the caregiver.

Oz: He's been so good with his relationship with Carol.

Carol: The care at Summa, whether it was a nurse, or housekeeping, or a doctor, was attentive, caring and responsive.

What do you think is the secret to your long life?

Oz: Clean living. Taking care of yourself, and having the right doctor.

Carol: I am so glad that we're all with Summa. I just can't say enough.


Reggie Eggleston

Multi-faceted support team activates a successful wellness plan


Reggie: Well I came to Summa in the worst situation you can imagine. Cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, a stroke. They put together a team and treated me for everything.

Sandy is the quarterback. She makes everything run smoothly. Dr. Lori is a 10, she knows her stuff. She has set my alarm on my phone. Every time you hear this alarm, I want you to take your medicine. Little things like that a doctor has never done. Dr. Wells, he counsels you. You've got to eat healthy now. It's the vegetable and the fish and the poultry, and I'm about to change my life.

I can't wait, the first thing I'm going to do is go to the amusement park and ride the fastest roller coaster I can find. And that's going to be my touchdown when I get off that roller coaster, if I'm in one piece. I'm going to live a better life.


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