A retired Summa Health obstetrician and gynecologist and his wife have donated $750,000 to the Akron-based hospital system.
Dr. Ernest R. Estep, who delivered thousands of babies over a nearly 40-year career at Summa, and his wife, Bonnie, contributed to the health system's "Caring for You — Then, Now, Always” fundraising campaign.
The donation will be recognized with the Dr. Ernest R. and Bonnie L. Estep Labor and Delivery Lobby in the new patient tower on the Akron City Hospital campus.
The “Caring For You” campaign’s goal is to raise $75 million to empower clinical excellence and improve the patient experience at Summa Health. Nearly $60 million has been raised to date.
In addition to helping patients just starting or expanding their families, Estep was a mentor to hundreds of young physicians, many of whom became leaders at Summa Health — including Dr. Cliff Deveny, Summa's president and chief executive officer.
“Dr. Estep has had a tremendous impact on Summa Health physicians and our patients and families,” Deveny said. “I’m a better person because of Ernie.”
In 2018, Estep was awarded the Distinguished Physician Award, the highest physician honor given Summa Health, in recognition of his excellence as a clinician, educator and leader.
Estep served in a variety of leadership positions, including medical staff president from 1988-89 and as a founding board member at SummaCare, the health system's insurance company. His leadership also extended into the community as a founding member of the Medical Society of Greater Akron and its board of directors in 1996, serving as its president in 1999.
He retired in 2004.