$1M Gift Will Expand Akron Children’s ER

BOARDMAN, Ohio — Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley will expand its emergency department at the Beeghly campus on the strength of a $1 million gift from Leonard J. “Lenny” Fisher, chairman of the board of Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Construction on the Leonard J. Fisher Family building will begin this fall, with an anticipated opening in spring 2023, according to a release.

“I am pleased to support such an important initiative in the Mahoning Valley,” Fisher said. “The health of our children is so important, especially in today’s climate. And providing support for the emergency department, which has seen explosive growth, is a way that we can help impact the community for generations to come.” 

Since December 2008, there have been over 348,000 visits to the hospital’s emergency department. While it has the capacity to see 80 patients daily, it regularly exceeds that number, according to the release.

The project will increase the square footage of the emergency department to 34,700, up from 9,600. The new space will feature 23 treatment rooms designed with input from patient families and staff. In addition, this gift will help fund three behavioral health rooms specially designed to take patients who are facing emotional and behavioral emergencies. 

“The need to expand this department is critical,” said Grace Wakulchik, president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital. “Mr. Fisher’s generous gift is allowing us to get the fundraising for the expansion off the ground. We are so grateful for this support and for his long-time advocacy for children’s health care and Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.” 

“Our expanded emergency department is a major investment in the Mahoning Valley community and continues to build on the commitment we began when we opened the campus in 2008,” said Paul Olivier, vice president of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. “It is through the generosity of donors, like Lenny Fisher, that makes projects like this possible.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.