West Side News & Notes
Akron General pursuing new strategic alignment
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron General Health System (AGHS) announced last week it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent and entered into exclusive discussions with a subsidiary of Community Health Systems Inc. and the Cleveland Clinic to form a strategic partnership that would provide clinical and capital resources, strengthening Akron General financially while preserving the health system’s mission of offering outstanding care for area residents, according to AGHS officials.
The proposed sale of the system’s assets to a newly formed joint venture would be intended to position Akron General for long-term stability and growth while also maintaining strong local leadership.
“The high level of clinical care, operational experience, medical innovation and best business practices brought together through this potential partnership will serve as a tremendous asset to our community, strengthening Akron General and ensuring our mission of service to the community for generations to come,” said Dr. Thomas “Tim” Stover, president and CEO of AGHS.
During the past few months, a special committee of the Akron General board explored options and engaged in conversations with a number of organizations about possible relationships. After consideration, the board selected these potential partners based on specific criteria, and, most importantly, the board sought partners that would embrace the mission and culture of AGHS and advance its model of disease prevention and wellness, according to AGHS officials.
During negotiations, the parties will finalize details of the agreement, which will include commitments to: make significant capital investments to improve facilities, technology and hospital services; recruit new physicians to the community; maintain charity care; and appoint a local governing board of trustees consisting of community leaders and members of the hospital’s medical staff.
Stover said the combined strengths of Community Health Systems and the Cleveland Clinic provide unique advantages for AGHS.
“The Clinic is committed to developing a model of health care for the 21st century that reduces costs and drives quality to provide the best health care value,” he said. “We want to bring that model to our patients and to our community.”
Stover said the next steps include due diligence and final negotiations, a process that could take several months to complete. Assuming the parties consent to the terms of the partnership, a definitive agreement would be expected later this year.
Mustard Seed Market deal done
HIGHLAND SQUARE — Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Mustard Seed Market owner Phillip Nabors signed the final paperwork Aug. 23 completing the process to bring a grocery store to the Highland Square neighborhood.
The Mustard Seed will be a two-story, 23,000-square-foot grocery store with a second-floor terrace and restaurant.
“This has been a challenging project because the space we had to work with was very small and irregularly shaped,” Plusquellic said. “However, the city and the Nabors [family] worked hard to come up with a design that fit the unusual footprint. The end result is a distinctive store that will fit perfectly with the character of the neighborhood.”
There will be a groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow, Aug. 30, at 1:15 p.m. at the site of the new store at the intersection of West Market Street and North Portage Path. The ceremony is open to the public.
Prosecutor introduces dog to help victims
|Photo courtesy of Summit County Prosecutor’s Office|
Avery II is a 2-year-old Labrador-golden retriever mix who has been specially trained to help crime victims and witnesses overcome their fears and the stress that often results from being part of a criminal case, according to officials.
“The criminal justice system can cause what is known as ‘secondary victimization’ to people who have already been traumatized,” Walsh said as Avery was introduced at an Aug. 26 press conference. “Children and people with disabilities can be especially fearful of talking about a traumatic situation in front of a courtroom full of strangers. Even coming to our office to talk with a prosecutor can be scary. Avery is specially trained to soothe victims so that they can clearly communicate what they’ve been through.”
Avery was trained and provided by Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) at no cost. All of his food, grooming and other supplies are being donated by Pet Supplies Plus, and his veterinary care is provided free of charge by Stow Kent Animal Hospital, according to Bevan’s office.
Avery will meet with victims of traumatic felony-level crimes to put them at ease while talking with prosecutors, Walsh said.
To learn more about Avery, go to his Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/SummitCountyProsecutorAveryII.
Annual rabies baiting beginning in area
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), in conjunction with local health departments and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has begun annual rabies baiting.
In the West Side Leader’s coverage area, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be baited by aircraft Sept. 2-6. Bait could fall into areas outside park boundaries.
For the second year in a row, a new oral rabies vaccine called ONRAB® will be field tested in parts of Summit, Lake, Portage, Geauga and Cuyahoga counties as part of a national trial involving five states.
Residents in the baited areas should be aware of low-flying aircraft and keep children and pets away from the baits. The ONRAB blister pack is about 1-by-2 inches and has a dark-green coloring and sweet-smelling waxy coating.
In addition, bait in a coated sachet, which will be distributed by aircraft, is about the size of a ketchup packet. It is white and rolled in a brown fishmeal glaze. In urban areas, where baits will be distributed by vehicle, the sachet will be inside a hard, brown fishmeal block, about 2 inches by 2 inches.
The baits are not harmful to pets, according to ODH officials, but once the area is baited, dogs and cats should be kept inside or on leashes for up to five days.
Anyone handling baits should wear gloves. Damaged baits can be disposed of in the trash. If a person is exposed to the vaccine (liquid), thoroughly wash any areas of the skin that came into contact with the vaccine with soap and water.
For more information, call the ODH Rabies Information Line at 888-722-4371 or the Summit County Public Health Division of Environmental Health at 330-926-5600.
Kathleen Folkerth and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.
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