Akron Children’s Celebrates Milestone

BOARDMAN, Ohio – This past year marked a significant milestone for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley: the 10-year anniversary of the Beeghly campus opening in Boardman.

While Akron Children’s commitment to the region extends well beyond this past decade, the campus is an example of Akron Children’s seeing a need within the community and meeting it to provide families world-class pediatric care, close to home.

This commitment continues to guide Akron Children’s growth and transformation in the area and has been a focus for Grace Wakulchik, who was named the CEO and president of the organization in October.

“Throughout these past 10 years, we’ve experienced tremendous growth and now have a strong foundation to build on for the future,” says Wakulchik, who has been Akron Children’s president since July 2017 and with the organization for more than 26 years.

Before the opening of the Beeghly campus, Akron Children’s had collaborative relationships with medical colleagues and hospital systems in the Mahoning Valley. By 2007, the organization was treating patients at two specialty locations, plus providing emergency, inpatient, specialty, neonatal and hospitalist care alongside Humility of Mary Health Partners, now Mercy Health.

In 2007, working with community leadership, Akron Children’s purchased the Beeghly campus and began to renovate the facilities to open a new pediatric hospital.

“The decision was really driven by our mission, our focus on children and a sense of responsibility as the region’s largest pediatric health care provider,” says William Considine, CEO emeritus.

When it opened, the 189,174-square-foot campus had 32 inpatient rooms, an ER, a helipad to transport patients to Akron as needed, rehabilitation, radiology, lab and other services. Today, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley has more than 1.2 million patient visits throughout its tri-county locations.

“We anticipated steady growth in the Valley, but steady soon transformed to rapid as we identified pediatric health care needs here and worked to make it easier – and more convenient – for families to get the services they needed,” Wakulchik says.

Today, Akron Children’s operates five primary care locations, urgent care in Warren and specialized on-site services at St. Joseph Hospital and St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital.

Currently, the Akron Children’s locations in the Mahoning Valley employ 800.

The growth of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley would not be possible without the generous contributions of members of the community and donors, Considine points out.

Since 2008, more than 11,000 donors have contributed $23 million to support local programs and services.

“We’re grateful for how this community and our donors have embraced our hospital and its mission,” adds Sharon Hrina, vice president of the hospital. “We’re truly humbled by their contributions, which have been absolutely crucial to our growth and our ability to reach out and help more children.”

In the coming year, Akron Children’s is looking to expand its footprint and access to its network of primary health care offices, particularly in underserved areas, along with opening a Quick Care.

“We also have plans in the near future to design an expanded behavioral health services program – a much-needed service in the Mahoning Valley community,” saysWakulchik. “These added services and locations will help us continue to provide families in the Valley the quality pediatric care they’ve come to expect from Akron Children’s. We’re grateful for the chance to serve them.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.