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New Birthing Unit Part of $220 Million Tower at Summa Akron City Campus

photo of Ed Friedl
Ed Friedl, Summa's vice-president for construction, shows off one of the new tower's birthing tubs, part of the expanded labor and delivery area.

Akron got its first glimpse inside Summa’s new addition to City Hospital on Sunday, just as current patients are being moved into the $220 million tower this week.

The new building -- on the main campus, just east of downtown -- will house a center for breast cancer treatment, robotic surgery area and new labor and delivery rooms.  Ed Friedl, vice president of construction services at the hospital, says the new maternity ward will have 17 birthing rooms.

“Not that our [current] unit isn’t nice – it is nice – it’s just dated.  It was done in the ‘80s.  So we were dealing with an existing area that had a lot of limitations because of the space that it was in.  So our operating rooms, obviously, in the old area couldn’t get bigger.  Now we can build the operating rooms -- and the patient rooms -- the exact size we need them to be.”

The new tower also includes a 22-bed neonatal intensive care unit operated with Akron Children’s Hospital in a partnership established a decade ago.  The tower will open for new patients on May 28.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.