After every visit to Akron Children’s, philanthropist and Akron business leader Philip H. Maynard would share stories about children he met.
“You should’ve seen the kiddos,” he would tell family and co-workers.
Phil passed away in 2021, but the Maynard Family Foundation has ensured that its namesake’s concern for children carries on in his absence.
Through a Maynard Family Foundation gift, the Philip H. Maynard Chair in NeuroDevelopmental Sciences will foster research and advancements in this field. Neurodevelopmental issues can manifest as conditions that affect children’s cognition, language, motor skills and behaviors – like autism and cerebral palsy.
The new chair will power investigation into the causes and treatments for these and other disorders. Bruce H. Cohen, MD, FAAN, chair, NeuroDevelopmental Science Center; Philip H. Maynard Chair in NeuroDevelopmental Science Fund; chairman, American Academy of Neurology Advocacy Committee; and pediatric neurologist will serve as the first chair.
A spirit of giving
“Dad was raised to help others, and he was a man of faith, which he unashamedly shared,” said his daughter Amy Griffith. “Akron Children’s was his first major step into philanthropy, which is why it has remained an important organization to our family.”
Phil was an ardent supporter of our hospital up until his passing. He served on the Akron Children’s board of directors from 2003 to 2021, acting as chairman from 2003 to 2007. He also was on the Akron Children’s Foundation board of directors from 2007 to 2021. He chaired the Building on the Promise capital campaign and helped raise $60 million for the construction of the Kay Jewelers Pavilion. The chair in neurodevelopmental sciences is a new expression of his commitment to Akron Children’s.
Funding a need
“Dr. Cohen served on the board of directors with Phil,” said Pamela Loughry, executive director of the Maynard Family Foundation. “As we learned more about the important work of this area of science, we thought it would be an excellent investment and something Phil would have championed.”
“I am honored to serve as the first chair that carries Phil’s name,” said Dr. Cohen. “Through this generous gift, we can make a difference in the lives of many children and their families. We will do Phil proud in this arena.”
Pamela said that naming opportunities did not interest Phil when he was alive, but posthumously, his name adds credibility.
“When people see the Maynard name attached to a nonprofit program, they know that it was ‘Phil approved,’” she said. “Dr. Cohen and the neurodevelopmental sciences chair is definitely Maynard-worthy.”
“Dad knew what a treasure it is to have Akron Children’s and physicians like Dr. Cohen in our community,” said Amy. “His desire was to fund initiatives like this – right here in Akron.”