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South Side Business News & Notes

10/3/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Summa, HealthSpan Partners close deal

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summa Health System closed on a partnership transaction Sept. 30 that makes HealthSpan Partners a minority owner in the Akron-based health care system.

According to Summa officials, HealthSpan Partners, an auxiliary organization of Catholic Health Partners, invested $250 million to become a 30 percent owner of Summa Health System. HealthSpan Partners is a secular, tax-exempt organization that invests in innovative health care ventures.

The agreement concludes a two-year process initiated by the board of Summa Health System to find a like-minded, not-for-profit partner to strengthen Summa financially and better equip the system to tackle the challenges of health care reform, according to company officials.

“We are delighted to be partnering with HealthSpan Partners and look forward to working together for the benefit of Northeast Ohioans,” said Thomas Strauss, president and CEO of Summa Health System. “HealthSpan Partners is a great fit as we fulfill our mission as a safety-net provider, caring for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Through the partnership, which originally began with Catholic Health Partners, Summa Health System will continue to be locally governed while gaining the strength of a partner with resources across the state to help it realize economies of scale and operational improvements.

Catholic Health Partners was the original proposed investor in Summa Health System, but after review of the planned transaction, the approach was changed and HealthSpan Partners was designated as the investor, Summa officials said.

As part of the agreement, Summa Health System and HealthSpan Partners agreed to a statement of common values that includes a provision stating they will not perform direct abortions or euthanasia, neither of which they perform today.


Summit of Sustainability luncheon features founder of Polar Bears International

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Robert Buchanan will be the keynote speaker for the Summit of Sustainability awards breakfast taking place Oct. 24 at The University of Akron’s Quaker Station Ballroom, 35 S. Broadway St. Registration is at 7:30 a.m., with the breakfast and program beginning at 8 a.m.

The second countywide awards program will showcase the best examples of commercial energy efficiency, waste reduction and involvement of employees in companies with 25 or fewer employees, companies with 26-250 employees, companies with more than 250 employees and nonprofit/community and public sector (governmental/schools) organizations.

Buchanan founded Polar Bears International (PBI) as an organization with a focus on polar bear research and proactive education on how to conserve polar bears and their habitat. Funding provided by PBI helped support research that led to the listing by the U.S. government of polar bears as a threatened species.

Tickets for the breakfast can be purchased at www.SummitofSustainability.org. Companies or organizations can purchase a table of eight ($250) or individual luncheon tickets for $25 at the website.

Founding members are the city of Akron, Summit County, Keep Akron Beautiful, the Greater Akron Chamber and ReWorks. Sponsors include: Sustainable Champions — METRO RTA, Sterling Jewelers Inc. and the Akron Zoo; Conservation Leaders — Dominion Foundation, FirstEnergy Foundation, The University of Akron, River Valley Paper Co., Smart Business Network, Hasenstab Architect and Waste Management Recycling Services-Greenstar Ohio Facility; Resource Guardian — Affinity Consultants Inc., Bridgestone Americas Inc. and Visual Marking Systems; and Media Sponsors — The Summit 91.3FM and Lockett Media.


Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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