Local Akron Children’s Hospital honors prominent Youngstown family for dedication

Local News

Tuesday afternoon at Akron Children’s Hospital money was donated, a program was relocated and the Tod family was honored for their dedication.  

All of it had to do with the health of children and making sure it continues to be a priority around Youngstown.

The Tod Family Community and Education Center was started 40 years ago at Tod Children’s Hospital (inside Northside Hospital in Youngstown). It was then moved to Southwoods in Boardman.

Akron Children’s Hospital is now a multi-building complex along Market Street in Boardman, where Tuesday afternoon the Tod Family Community and Education Center was dedicated after being relocated from Southwoods and after being started at the former Tod Children’s Hospital.

“I’m sure my ancestors are tickled pink that we continued to keep the name active and vibrant, and the causes are so important to all the residents of Mahoning and Trumbull and Columbiana counties that we could support children, especially with their chronic care issues and illnesses,” said Sally Tod Dutton, whose father was instrumental in starting Tod Children’s Hospital in 1972.

Kathleen Ashton has been the director of the center since it began 40 years ago at Tod’s. Together with Sally Tod Dutton, they helped children deal with their medical issues.

“With chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, sickle cell,” Sally said.

Former Akron Children’s CEO Bill Considine talked about the contributions of the Tod Family — highlighted by a commemorative wall leading into the center — and how their dedication to children’s health can be traced to the former Tod Children’s Hospital.

“I was leery at first. We were always very threatened by Akron Children’s coming in when we were Tod Children’s Hospital,” Sally said.

But that threat has passed. The Tods are pleased with the work being done by Akron Children’s, so much so, the Tod’s are also investing in the hospital.  

“Sally and I would like to take this occasion to also announce that the tod foundation has pledged $100,000 to assist with this program,” David Tod said.

“This is the goodwill that the hospital provides its patients once you’ve gotten the bad news. So it’s huge that we can provide this for Mahoning Valley,” Sally said.

The dedication ended with a gift from Kathleen Ashton to Sally Tod Dutton. It was a picture of Sally’s great uncle John Tod, which was given to Kathleen years ago by Sally’s mother and was now being returned.  

“It’s his money that is sort of the seed for starting the children’s hospital,” Sally said.

It’s also important to note the services provided by the center are not covered by insurance. It relies heavily on donations to keep operating.

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