Akron Children’s Prescribes Expansion

BOARDMAN, Ohio — Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley continued to expand access for local families in 2019 by offering more services in the Mahoning Valley, including the addition of a new behavioral health center in Boardman in December.

Sharon Hrina, vice president of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, says the addition addresses one of the area’s most pressing needs.

“Families of the Mahoning Valley, like much of the rest of Ohio, are in need of more behavioral health support for children and teens,” Hrina said. “This $2.3 million project allows Akron Children’s to double the number of behavioral health patient visits in the Youngstown area within the first year.”

For the expansion, Akron Children’s purchased and renovated the former Youngstown Hearing and Speech building. The space comprises nine therapy rooms, an assessment room, group therapy spaces and workspace for staff. 

Gov. Mike DeWine toured the building on Dec. 18, signing into law a bill that focuses on children’s behavioral health. Also marking this occasion was that this was the first time a bill was signed into law outside of Columbus.

In 2019, the health-care system also expanded “quick care” services at its Beeghly Campus in Boardman to seven days a week, along with full-time gastroenterology and part-time cardiology services. In Liberty, a pediatric primary care center was added. 

The Healthy Active Living program, which helps families establish more healthful eating and lifestyle habits, was expanded to accommodate Thursday appointments and a 24/7 ultrasound service was established for emergent needs. 

For 2020, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley has several major projects scheduled, says President and CEO Grace Wakulchik. 

In Austintown, the pediatric center on Norquest Boulevard is in the midst of a $1.5 million expansion, with Phase I set to be completed in early May and Phase II in August. The projects will bring the number of exam rooms to 24, up from six, and bring quick care services to the building.

In March, Akron Children’s will open a pediatric primary care center in East Liverpool. 

Work will also begin this year on a major expansion at Building A of the Boardman campus to provide asthma care coordination, full-service allergy care for all ages, gastroenterology, endoscopy and general surgery. 

Also under consideration is a major expansion to the hospital’s emergency department.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.