More than 130 years after the founding of Akron Children’s Hospital, its mission of serving families continues to this day. And the successors of the women who founded the hospital continue to serve that philanthropic spirit through the Women’s Board of Akron Children’s Hospital.
“We believe in taking care of each other,” said Tammy Gersman, president of the Women’s Board. “We’re committed to helping Akron Children’s be the best it can be for its patients, employees and community.”
A legacy of giving
In 1890, two circles of The Daughters of the King – The Heart and Hand Circle at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and The Wayside Circle at First Congregational Church – established a day nursery for the children of working women.
Today, that nursery has grown to become Akron Children’s. And the women’s groups evolved into what is now the Women’s Board. During those decades of continuous growth, both the hospital and the Women’s Board relied on the three core promises – to take care of children as if they were our own, to treat people as they would want to be treated, and to turn no child away for any reason – as a guide.
The Women’s Board focuses its efforts on children’s health advocacy, hospital liaison activities and fundraising.
Since its founding, it has donated more than $13 million to the hospital, with gifts supporting the purchase of new medical equipment and a multitude of hospital programs, departments
and initiatives such as the construction of the Kay Jewelers Pavilion, the Reach Out and Read program, and The Lois and John Orr Family Behavioral Health Center.
When the effects of the coronavirus pandemic reached the hospital, the Women’s Board generously contributed to the Akron Children’s Hospital Crisis Relief Fund and the Akron Children’s Hospital Employee Hardship Fund. Several weeks prior, it made a $280,000 donation to purchase a portable ultrasound unit, a dermatology laser and two radiology scanner wraps.
Staying true to its mission
As our geographic footprint continues to grow, Akron Children’s remains focused on providing the best in medical care and child advocacy programs, as well as medical education and research.
And the Women’s Board will help support those efforts.
“Our goal is to always be there to help Akron Children’s continue its mission as it grows regionally while keeping its core promises alive – those won’t ever change,” said Tammy. “While the hospital will be evolving constantly, we will be there to help it along the way in any way we can.”