BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley is getting a big donation from Lenny Fisher, Chairman of the Board for Handel’s Ice Cream.
Fisher is giving the Boardman hospital $1 million. He has supported numerous programs at the hospital and even helped start the Koins for Kids campaign.
The hospital plans to use the gift to expand its emergency room. The new facility will increase the department from 9,600 square feet to over 34,000 square feet, including 23 treatment rooms.
Hospital officials call the need “critical” as the current design is supposed to handle about 80 children a day.
“The last two days alone, we’ve seen over 100 patients in our emergency room each day. That’s the level we were seeing back when we started to plan the expansion, so it’s greatly needed. We continue to have babies, children and teens seek us out for that specialized care we provide in the emergency room,” said Paul Olivier, vice president of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.
Hospital officials say the volume of children and teens seen in the emergency room has gone up every year since at least 2014.
The donation will also help pay for three behavioral health rooms for patients with emotional and behavioral emergencies. Right now, there is only one of these rooms, which is often full.
The building will be named after Fisher.
Other donations for the bigger emergency department have come from the Cafaro Foundation and the Beecher Foundation.
Construction for the $30 million project is expected to begin this fall, with an anticipated opening date in the spring of 2023.