University Park Alliance welcomes new partners



An artist's rendering of improvements to the University Park neighborhood.

University Park Alliance (UPA) welcomes Akron Children’s Hospital and Akron General Health System as its newest partners in the revitalization of the University Park neighborhood surrounding The University of Akron campus. Current partners of the alliance include:

  • The University of Akron,
  • City of Akron,
  • Summa Health System,
  • Greater Akron Chamber,
  • Akron Public Schools,
  • Akron Beacon Journal,
  • Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority and
  • University Park Development Corporation.

The current partners unanimously agreed to extend the invitation to both hospital systems.

“The University of Akron looks forward to the talents and ideas these two new partners will bring to our collaborative venture,” says UA President Luis M. Proenza  “We expect that their participation will enable us to accelerate the transformation of this important neighborhood, and also to address our common interests in the development of the Biomedical Corridor, much of which falls within the boundaries of University Park.”

“Partnerships have helped make Akron a successful city. This team brings even greater promise for the University Park neighborhood and for all of Akron really. This evolution is exciting,” says Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic.

William H. Considine, chairman of the BioInnovation Institute in Akron and president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital, says that accepting the invitation to become part of the University Park Alliance team is an opportunity to expand his hospital system’s activities and area of impact.

“University Park is important to us at Akron Children’s Hospital and we are very active in being part of its revitalization and future growth as a center for research, education and health care,“ Considine says.

Alan J. Bleyer, president and CEO of Akron General Health System, views partnership in the alliance as a new opportunity for his network of health care facilities to expand its contribution to the community and to continue to support the economic development of the city and the region.

“We are very pleased to join the alliance and look forward to our partnership with UPA,” says Bleyer.  “Together, we will help University Park succeed.”

According to UPA executive director Ken Stapleton, both Akron Children’s Hospital and Akron General Health System are already engaged in programs in the University Park neighborhood and in partnership with UPA. “Bringing the two health systems on board as formal UPA partners will allow an even higher level of collaboration, particularly around neighborhood health and wellness initiatives,” says Stapleton.

The University Park Alliance is a partnership working collectively to transform the University Park neighborhood, a 50-block area surrounding The University of Akron, by leveraging private investments and engaging the community. Major funding for this effort is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.