Friday, 13 October 2017 09:37

UPDATE: Summa St. Thomas Still Closed

Update: Summa St. Thomas Hospital in Akron is still closed after the fire that started in the basement early Friday morning. 

No one was injured, as medical staff and first responders were able to evacuate patients and staff in time, but there is severe smoke damage throughout much of the hospital. 

The following is a statement, released Monday morning, on the status of when St. Thomas will open: 

Summa Health has contracted with ServiceMaster to lead the cleanup efforts at Summa Health System – St. Thomas Campus, which suffered significant damage as a result of the fire last Friday morning. ServiceMaster crews of more than 100 individuals worked in tandem with Summa Health employees all weekend, and plans call for the clean-up work to continue through this week.

A firm date for re-opening the hospital has not been set yet, though the target for inpatient services is early next week. There is a possibility that outpatient services could open sooner.

We will provide more details as they become available. In the meantime, the hotline number for additional information for patients and their families is 330.375.7702.

Thank you

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Akron Fire Department responded to a fire just after 6 a.m. Friday at Summa St. Thomas Hospital at 444 Main Street. 

Reports from Akron Fire officials is that the fire started in a storage area in the basement of the hospital. No one was injured in the fire. Patients and staff were evacuated shortly after the fire was reported. Patients have been transported to Akron City Hospital, the Barberton Campus, and the Western Reserve campus.

In a statement released at 9 a.m. Friday, Summa Health System confirmed that the fire was extinguished. In a later press release, Summa Health added that they have set up a hotline for family and friends of patients at St. Thomas: 330.375.7702. Summa also recommends checking the health system's Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates, as well. 

WAKR will have updates on this story as they come in. 

 

Published in Local

Uniontown Police Sgt. David White is home after more than three weeks at Summa Akron City Hospital after being shot four times in the line of duty.

On Sunday, July 9th, 2017, Sgt. White and another Uniontown Officer responded to a domestic violence call on Lela Avenue. The suspect, Ryan Probst, opened fire on Sgt. White and his partner, striking White four times. Officers returned fire, killing Probst on the scene. Sgt. White was rushed to Akron City Hospital where over the course of the next few days he underwent multiple surgeries.

After weeks of recovery and rehabilitation, White was discharged from Akron City.

Alongside his wife, Sgt. White entered the lobby of the Critical Care building at Akron City, welcomed by a host of fellow officers, friends, family, Akron City staff, and the media. A round of applause welcome Sgt. White as he sat at the table to give a prepared statement.

Sgt. White, 59, thanked his family, his department, and the charity and thoughtfulness of local churches, banks, and strangers, both local and from across the nation.

Sitting next to Dr. Joshua Nash of Akron City, Sgt. White boasted the care he received from the minute he was taken through the doors of the Emergency Department to that very moment. "Everyone here has been superb, all the way down to the janitorial service... I can't say enough for them." Sgt. White added, "If it wasn't for God, and if it wasn't for Summa, I wouldn't be here."

Asked whether he'd thought about returning to work, Sgt. White responded, "I haven't thought about getting back to work. My doctors said I'm probably 8 months to a year away from that... There are a lot more immediate things I have thought about aside from going to work." As for the first thing he'll do now that he's returning home, Sgt. White said he'll pet his dog.

Published in Local

Summit County Health officials say there may have been exposure to TB at a hospital here in Akron. About 50 families are being notified by Akron Children's Hospital for potential exposure at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Summa Akron City Hospital from mid-November through mid-December of last year. The Summit County Health Department says NICU patients at Akron Children's Hospital were not at risk of exposure. Doctors want to reach out to those potentially exposed since tuberculosis can be more serious in children, and treat them with proactive antibiotics.

In a press conference at the Summit County Public Health building Friday morning, Dr. Margo Erme, Medical Director with the county, emphasized that there is no risk of infection to the public. Measures have been and continue to be taken among those who were exposed, but the general public shouldn't be concerned. The county has added a list of Frequently Asked Questions to their website here

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news release updated 10:02 a.m.

(Summit County Health) 

REVISED news release

(Summit County Health Department) Summit County Public Health has confirmed a case of pulmonary tuberculosis in a Summit County resident on Jan. 3, 2017. In the course of the tuberculosis (TB) investigation, Summit County Public Health works with the individual to identify persons who were potentially exposed and would benefit from evaluation and testing.

Before being diagnosed with TB disease, this individual visited the Akron Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit at Summa Akron City Hospital in mid-November through mid-December, 2016. Summit County Public Health shared this information with Summa-Akron City Hospital and Akron Children’s Hospital, which operates the neonatal intensive care unit.

Infants who were in the NICU at the Akron Children’s Hospital campus were not at risk of exposure.

The three organizations have worked collaboratively to identify approximately 50 families of infants who were patients in the unit during this time and may have been exposed to the disease. Akron Children’s has begun notifying these families directly.
“The risk for infection is low, but because TB can be more serious in young children we would like to evaluate these infants and begin them on a protective antibiotic,” said Dr. John Bower, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Akron Children’s Hospital. “We have set up a clinic and are providing this care at no cost to our patient families.” 

In the United States TB disease is an uncommon and potentially serious illness that usually involves the lungs but can affect other parts of the body. In rare cases, people with TB disease can spread the disease to others. TB is spread through the air by
close prolonged contact when a person coughs, speaks, laughs, or sings. It is not spread by casual contact or contact with surfaces.

Almost all cases of TB disease are curable with proper treatment and medication. Active cases of TB disease are uncommon, even after exposure. While TB is contagious, it is difficult for the disease to spread from person to person. Therefore, there is minimal risk to the greater public.

“Adult care givers, older children and other individuals who may have visited the unit only during this time period are also encouraged to have a TB test in 6 to 8 weeks to see if they have been infected,” said Dr. Margo Erme, medical director of the Summit  County Health Department. “This would be about 10 to 12 weeks after the last potential exposure which is the time for the body to develop its response to the TB bacteria. If testing is done earlier, the person would still need to return in 6-8 weeks to be retested. Testing can be done by their private physician or at Summit County Public Health by calling the Clinic Appointment Line, 330-375-2772.” 

Published in Local

There's a new logo and brand strategy at Summa Health System to go along with recent plans to spend about $350 million on local facilities.

Summa President and CEO Thomas Malone says they decided on a new image for the health system to coincide with their plans to "transform the way healthcare is delivered" in the community.

No name change, but Summa officials say they will begin a new advertising campaign next week and will introduce new signage over the next several months.

Previous Coverage:

AUDIO: Dr. Thomas Malone Announces Summa Health Investment

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(Summa Health Press Release) – Summa Health revealed its new brand strategy and logo today to employees throughout the health system.

"Much positive change is occurring at Summa Health as we continue to transform the way healthcare is delivered in our community. In recent months, we've seen our accountable care organization recognized as a national leader, our nursing staff again achieve Magnet status, and, most recently, the announcement of our $350 million facilities plan," said Thomas A. Malone, MD, president and CEO of Summa Health. "Through the new brand, we are sending a clear message to the community and to our own employees that something special and unique is happening at Summa."

Summa Health will not change its name, due to its strong connection with the community. However, the new brand strategy is designed to support its strategic direction, and the new Summa Health logo – the most visible representation of the brand – symbolizes that change.

The new logo is powerful and dynamic, representing the unique coordinated continuum of care provided by Summa Health at each stage of life. The elements of the logo move together to illustrate the organization's forward momentum amid the changing landscape of healthcare. The individual pieces and vibrant colors represent the diversity of our employees and the communities we serve.

"The brand is more than a logo; it is what our patients and the community experience when they interact with Summa Health and our 9,000 employees," said Dr. Malone. "Our new brand represents a promise that we are ready to partner with you on your journey toward better total health."

Rob Whitehouse, senior vice president of Marketing and Community Relations, said it has been 15 years since Summa Health updated its brand. Over the past year, Summa Health has conducted studies and focus groups to better understand how the health system is perceived in the community. Building on those strengths and aligning with Summa Health's population health strategy, leadership developed a new brand strategy and a logo.

"There were many iterations," said Whitehouse. "But in the end, we found something that resonated strongly with our internal and external focus groups. They saw it as reflective of who we are, yet still aspirational – a sign of where we want to go in serving this community."

The brand change will occur gradually, beginning with a new and distinctive advertising campaign next week and the changing of marketing materials and websites. Over several months, new signage will begin appearing at all Summa Health locations.

Published in Local