AKRON, Ohio, August 20, 2021 – Summa Health announced today that Dr. Gary and Mrs. Pamela Williams made a new gift of $15 million to the health system. In recognition of what is the largest gift in its history, Summa has named its patient tower on the Akron Campus — the Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Tower.
The historic gift was revealed yesterday evening by Cliff Deveny, M.D., Summa Health president and CEO, at an annual donor recognition event celebrating Summa's friends and benefactors. The couple also was presented with the Boniface DeRoo Award, Summa's highest philanthropic honor, to celebrate their kindness and legacy of giving.
"This truly meaningful and transformational gesture will have a positive impact on the health and well-being of the greater Akron community for years to come." said Dr. Deveny. "We are proud to recognize Dr. and Mrs. Williams' generosity with naming our patient tower, the front door of the Akron Campus, in their honor. There, their name will forever shine in the Akron skyline as a testament to their legacy of caring for our community as the most generous benefactors in the the history of Summa Health."
Opened in 2019, the Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Tower offers amenities reflective of Summa Health's mission to provide the highest quality, compassionate care to patients and members and to contribute to a healthier community. Within its seven stories are 17 labor and delivery rooms, a 22-bed neonatal intensive care unit, 67 prep and recovery rooms for same-day surgery, 108 private patient rooms and 11 state-of-the-art surgical suites that bring the hospital's total number of operating rooms to 27.
The ground floor of the Williams Tower is home to the 19,433 square feet of the Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Center for Breast Health — a name that now graces all locations providing breast health services at Summa Health — in recognition of the couple's previous $5 million gift in 2017.
"Pam and I are honored to support the organization that has made a difference in the lives of so many individuals over the years," said Dr. Williams. "We hope that our gift reaffirms the commitment that Summa has to providing the highest quality, compassionate care for the entire Akron region."
As a renowned surgeon at Summa for more than four decades, an associate professor of surgery at Northeast Ohio Medical University and an instructor of surgery at The Ohio State University, Dr. Williams most recently served as chief of the Division of General Surgery and medical director of breast health services at Summa. While there, Dr. Williams, now retired, pioneered coordinated, patient-centered multidisciplinary care for breast health services, which is now a standard of care for all Summa Health services. Dr. Williams has been a member of the Masonic Fraternity for 50 years and is active in The Shrine, a branch of the organization that helps disabled children and burn victims.
Pamela Williams has dedicated her life to the care of others, volunteering countless hours of service to those in need around the world through her leadership in the American Red Cross. A lifelong educator she has taught at schools in Akron, Cuyahoga Falls and Worthington. She is active with United Way of Summit and Medina, City of Akron Housing Appeals Board, and the Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation. She is a member of The University of Akron Foundation Board of Directors.
In addition to the historic gift, the event also showcased the presentation of the 2021 Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award, the health system's highest physician honor, to Dr. J. Patrick Flanagan. As the former chair of the Summa Health Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program from a general orthopedics curriculum in 1975 to include all subspecialties —spine, hand, foot, ankle, knee, total joint replacement, sports medicine, trauma and oncology.
Summa Health is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community medical centers, a health plan, an accountable care organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and the Summa Health Foundation, we are nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa’s clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet status), U.S. News and World Report, Healthgrades, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit summahealth.org or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/summahealth, Twitter, twitter.com/summahealth and LinkedIn linkedin.com/company/summahealth.
Media Contact: Shannon Kew