Issue: September/October 2010
Best Places to Work: Best Way to Be a Good Neighbor
NorthCoast 99: Outreach
Summa Health System
Location: Facilities in Akron and throughout Northeast Ohio
Number of Employees: More than 10,000
What They Do: A health care provider with a network of seven hospitals, health centers, a health plan and more
Why It’s a Great Place to Work: Summa is among 10 partners in the University Park Alliance, an organization devoted to revitalizing the 50-block area surrounding the University of Akron, which is also a NorthCoast 99 winner.
Thomas J. Strauss is giddy.
Not just for the new 60-bed rehab center Summa Health System is building this year or for the plethora of other development projects in the works. Summa’s president and CEO can’t wait for a project happening outside the hospital doors that will reinvent some of Akron’s oldest neighborhoods.
“It’s exciting to think about urban renewal,” says Strauss, a member of the University Park Alliance board of directors. The alliance supports major endeavors to transform Akron neighborhoods, relocating industry, cleaning up buildings and lending a hand to entrepreneurs ranging from locally owned ethnic restaurants to small business.
Established through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the University Park Alliance works with its partners to engage the community, develop grassroots leadership, facilitate private real estate and business development, and enhance streets, parks and other public spaces.
Next summer’s headline project is the relocation of the Austen BioInnovation Institute, a hub for materials science that will move into a 40,000-square-foot space on Main Street and Perkins Avenue.
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