Summa’s new behavioral health center makes progress

Terry Donovan, project manager for Turner Construction, shows progress on Summa Health's new behavioral health facility to Summa public relations strategist Shannon Kew during a construction site tour Thursday in Akron.

Construction of a new 60-bed behavioral health facility on the Akron City Hospital campus continues, but Summa Health has yet to decide the fate of St. Thomas Hospital.

Following:Summa to evacuate St. Thomas and build a new hospital

Recently, Summa’s construction team “raised the banner” on the facility, placing banners that employees signed to signify the completion of the structure and move on to the next stages of construction.

The project, which is part of the hospital’s $ 80 million Phase 2 construction campaign, is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and ready for use by the first quarter of 2023.

A metallurgist welds steel support beams for the Summa Health Behavioral Health Building, which is under construction on the Akron City Hospital campus.

The seven-story building will have private behavioral health rooms for inpatients. There will also be a floor dedicated to the care of geriatric patients in behavioral health. Outpatient visits will be on one floor and all patients will have access to the new building from an adjoining car park.

The ground floor will house the partial hospitalization program, the intensive outpatient program, a non-denominational chapel, a garden and take-out meals.

Following:View an interactive map of Summa’s new behavioral health pavilion

It will also house The Heritage Center, a space dedicated to preserving the history of St. Thomas, in particular its links with the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

St. Thomas is home to the country’s first hospital unit treating alcoholism. The unit – called Ignatia Hall – was founded in 1939 by Sister M. Ignatia of St. Thomas Hospital and Dr. Bob Smith, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The new Behavioral Health Pavilion is being built on the site of the old School of Nursing building on Arch Street near East Market. The building had not been in use for about five years and was demolished to make way for the new facility.

A metallurgist is framed by the support beams of Summa Health's new behavioral health building on the Akron City Hospital campus.

Following:Demolition of Summa building makes way for behavioral health facility

Upon completion, Summa will leave the historic St. Thomas Hospital, where behavioral health and other hospital services currently reside.

Crystal Clinic, which has also been renting space in St. Thomas for its surgeries for 12 years, will leave when its new orthopedic hospital in Bath opens on November 1, said Holli Cholley, chief nursing and operations officer. .

“We are delighted to open our new Crystal Clinic Orthopedic Center hospital on November 1, 2021, where we will perform all of our surgeries requiring hospitalization,” she said in a statement. “Since 2009 these surgeries have been performed at St. Thomas Hospital, however, with the completion of our new state-of-the-art hospital, we now have one of the few hospitals in the world dedicated exclusively to the orthopedics and plastic / reconstructive surgery.

Future plans for the St. Thomas building have not been established.

“We continue to have discussions about the future of the facility, but no decision has been made,” Summa spokesperson Shannon Kew said.

Beacon Journal reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or [email protected] Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or at To see her most recent stories and columns, visit

Stars and stripes fly over the construction site of Summa Health's new behavioral health building in Akron.

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