NORTH CANTON  The Timken Foundation Building at Akron Children’s Hospital Center at 6076 Whipple Ave. NW officially opened and started serving patients May 21 with appointments that were set up almost six months prior. The facility brings together pediatric care, a dozen of Akron Children’s most in-demand pediatric specialty care practices and rehabilitation services.

The health center is quickly noticeable for drivers at the corner of Whipple and Glenwood Avenues in North Canton. It’s an appropriate location for a children’s health care center because kids have gathered on that same hillside for decades for sled riding in the winter months.

Dr. Kelly Casper, a pediatrician seeing children at the new center and who led a media tour on May 20, said she grew up in the neighborhood and used to sled down the hill. With the new facility, the sled riding has become a memory for local kids (just like Dr. Casper’s) as it isn’t available for sledding any longer.

The 38,000 square-foot center consolidates the hospital’s services currently offered at four other Stark County sites into this one location. An official community open house is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 22.

The facility’s total cost to build was $13 million. Construction was completed in 14 months and came in $300,000 under budget.

Chief Operating Officer Lisa Aurilio said Akron Children’s is excited to be a part of the Stark County community.

“We wanted to open a facility to bring services as close as possible to serve children in Stark and those families further south,” Aurilio said. “There will be 250 employees right now in the center with 100 employees here each day. We have 12 specialties services here now and we’ll be adding more specialties as we go which will add more employees. We are happy to be adding to the economic development of Stark County.”

Each floor uses light and airy colors on the walls and in the exam rooms. Plus, each floor is decorated in a different theme. The first floor’s theme is related to nature and the parks, second floor has décor related to the sky and the bottom floor’s theme relates to a sports stadium.

The hallways on all three floors have artworks from local students hanging on the walls. If patients watch closely as they are walking through the halls on the second floor, they may even see a photo of the blimp from the Akron area.

Services include Akron Children’s hospital pediatrics primary care and pediatric specialty care such as allergy, immunology, cariology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology, orthopedics, physiatry, pulmonology, sports medicine, urology and vision. There are also rehabilitative services such as physical, occupational and speech therapists. There are areas stocked with toys and special equipment with gym-like special zones for fine and gross motor therapies, speech therapy and children who need help with sensory integration.

An indoor track connects with an outside path for patients learning or regaining skills with walkers, trikes and bikes. There is also an outdoor turf football field that can be used to help for rehab patients.

In March, the Altman family, Richard and Barbara and Louis and Christine and Jane and Michael Zoldan of the A. Altman Company who developed the new facility donated the building to Akron Children’s. The main lobby is named the Robert C. and Ruth E. Altman lobby in honor of their parents. Last August, the Timken Foundation of Canton awarded Akron Children’s Hospital a $1.5 million grant to support the project. In recognition of the gift, the building will be known as the Timken Foundation Building at Akron Children’s Hospital’s Health Center.

“We have three core values that all of the employees live each day, treat each child as it your own, treat others as you want to be treated and never turn a child away. We are humbled that families trust us with the health care of their children. And, we’re happy to be in a partner in the Stark County community,” Aurilio said

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