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Akron Children’s appoints Dr. Marya Strand as Chair of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine

08-02-2023 (Akron, Ohio )

Marya Strand, MD, MS has been named chair of the newly formed Department of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine and inaugural chair holder of the Thomas R. & Mary Lynn Crowley Endowed Chair in Neonatology and Maternal Fetal Medicine at Akron Children’s.

As the Thomas R. and Mary Lynn Crowley Endowed Chair of Neonatology and Maternal Fetal Medicine, Dr. Strand will build and lead a service line that ensures the health and well-being of neonates, mothers and families across the continuum of perinatal care, beginning with pregnancy and continuing through graduation from the NICU.

In addition to Dr. Strand’s work building and leading the department, the Division of Neonatology and current Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Akron Children’s will combine to advance our focus on mother and child health by advancement of evidence-based practice as well as post graduate physician training in both disciplines.

The endowed chair was made possible by a $5 million commitment from Thomas R. and Mary Lynn Crowley.

The Crowleys’ daughter was born prematurely, and the family wanted to give back to the hospital for the care she received.

“Forty years ago, our daughter, Kate, was born premature. Today, we have a very healthy, active daughter,” said Mary Lynn. “This endowment is our way of saying thank you to Akron Children’s.”

Dr. Strand previously served as the chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs  at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis and the director fellowship education at Saint Louis University.

She received her medical degree from Vanderbilt University and her Master of Science in Clinical Research Design and Statistics from the University of Michigan. Dr. Strand completed her residency at Vanderbilt University and her fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. She is board certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine.

With a particular interest in neonatal resuscitation, medical education and simulation-based education, Dr. Strand also served as a professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and she is the immediate past co-chair of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program Steering Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Akron Children’s NICU provides the highest level of intensive care to sick and premature newborns. The hospital has expanded its NICU collaboration by establishing onsite NICUs at Summa Health System, Aultman,  Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Mercy St. Elizabeth’s and special care nurseries at Mahoning Valley Beeghly, Wooster Mercy Medical Centers, Lorain and St. Joseph Health Center.

“The endowed chair in neonatology and maternal fetal medicine will allow us to advance innovative care of the sickest newborns and infants, as well as promoting the health and wellbeing of mothers and families from pregnancy to the time their baby leaves the NICU,” said Chris Gessner, Akron Children’s CEO. “Tom and Mary Lynn have been longtime supporters of Akron Children’s and their generosity will have a lasting impact on our NICU and the patients we serve.”

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