Hospital supporters and employees joined local and regional leaders and longtime friends on Oct. 12 to celebrate William H. “Bill” Considine’s 40 years of leadership to Akron Children’s Hospital.
During the event, Considine announced a $1 million gift for the hospital’s Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute from Considine and his wife, Becky. The gift will go toward establishing an endowed chair. The Considines donated $1 million to create the Institute upon his 30th anniversary.
In addition, Akron Children’s Hospital Board of Directors chairman John Orr announced that $13.1 million was raised for the hospital in Considine’s honor over the past year.
“We’re very grateful to all the benefactors who have stepped forward to support the hospital’s important work,” Orr said. “These funds will be used to benefit many worthwhile programs at Akron Children’s, including Bill’s work at the Center for Child Advocacy, where he continues to speak up for children.”
More than 700 guests attended the celebration at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, which took place under a heated tent on the Great Meadow. Guests were warmly welcomed into a colorful party with creative cuisine served at several food stations.
During the evening’s program, Akron Children’s President and CEO Grace Wakulchik greeted the crowd and introduced Dance Unlimited, a dance troupe made up of hospital patients and led by Physical Therapist Kellie Lightfoot. Considine joined the dancers on the dance floor during their final number.
Wakulchik, who was named Akron Children’s leader a year ago, commended CEO emeritus Considine for his 4 decades of leadership of the independent pediatric health care organization.
“Bill has always understood the importance of our meaningful work and the healing bond our providers have with our patients and families,” Wakulchik said. “He has made an indelible impression on our hospital and community.”
Considine’s dedication was highlighted in a video that featured remarks and congratulations from more than a dozen leaders such as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Considine’s longtime assistant, Pat O’Desky.
Following the video, John Orr spoke and praised Considine and his leadership style.
“In looking back over his years of service at Akron Children’s, it’s hard to believe the transformation that has taken place since he came on board as CEO in 1979,” Orr said. “Akron Children’s has truly developed into a comprehensive, pediatric health care delivery system with a commanding regional presence and well-deserved reputation for world-class care. All of this was achieved through his ability to see something that needed to be done and his determination to find a way to do it.”
Considine and his wife, Becky, were moved by the video tribute during the event, which included his children, their spouses and his grandchildren in the audience.
“I am overwhelmed by this outpouring of support for a job that has brought so much meaning and joy into my life,” he said. “It has been a blessing to be a part of the Akron Children’s Hospital family for 40 years.”
Following dancing to music spun by a DJ, R&B hitmakers The Spinners took the stage and brought many to the dance floor for more than an hour. The floor was embellished with an image of the cover of Considine’s new book, “Success,” which attendees received as they departed.
Presenting sponsors were RDA Management, Paul Thomarios/THOMARIOS and the Women’s Board of Akron Children’s Hospital. A complete list of sponsors is available here.
Video Tribute: It’s impossible to sum up Akron Children’s Hospital CEO Emeritus Bill Considine in a thousand words, much less one, but here’s just a glimpse of everything he’s meant to the hospital and the community we serve.