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January 24, 2024
1 min read

Revitalizing Summa Health: Akron Councilman’s Vision for Independent Growth

TLDR:

  • Akron City Councilman James Hardy has called for a pause on the sale of Summa Health to venture capital firm Health Assurance Transformation Corp. (HATCo).
  • Hardy believes that the community has not been sufficiently consulted on the sale and wants greater transparency in the process.

Akron City Councilman James Hardy has publicly called for a halt to the sale of Summa Health to Health Assurance Transformation Corp. (HATCo), a venture capital firm owned by General Catalyst. Hardy, who has a background in public health, believes that the community has not been adequately consulted about the sale and is calling for a transparent process that addresses the concerns and questions of the general public.

In response to Hardy’s call, Summa’s Chief Operating Officer Ben Sutton and board member Tracy Carter planned to attend a council meeting to discuss the sale. Akron Mayor Shammas Malik also expressed a desire to be involved in the conversation and prioritize patient health, community well-being, and support for Summa’s employees.

Hardy has voiced his opposition to the sale based on the belief that healthcare is a public good and should not be treated as a market commodity. He objects to using Summa, its staff, and its patients as “guinea pigs” for a model developed by venture capitalists, and instead advocates for alternative ownership models, such as a county-owned system. Hardy’s personal experiences with his parents’ medical crises have contributed to his skepticism of venture capital ownership of hospitals and the financial challenges faced by patients even with good insurance.

Hardy’s call for greater transparency and consideration of alternative ownership models reflects his concerns about the market approach to healthcare and the financial predatory nature of the system. He urges others to question their comfort in trusting the healthcare of future generations to venture capitalists.

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