Newswise — CLEVELAND – A $7.5 million gift from Steve and Loree Potash of Bentleyville, Ohio, to University Hospitals will establish the Steve and Loree Potash Women & Newborn Center at UH Ahuja Medical Center. Part of the UH Ahuja Phase 2 expansion, the new center will bring the trusted and collaborative care of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and UH MacDonald Women’s hospitals to the eastside, introducing maternal-fetal care and a full spectrum of labor and delivery services to the UH Ahuja campus.
A member of the UH Board of Directors, Steve is the President and CEO of OverDrive, a company he founded in 1986 that is now the leading digital platform for eBooks, audiobooks and other digital media, partnering with libraries, schools, government agencies, corporate learning centers and colleges and universities worldwide. Steve and Loree are both graduates of The Ohio State University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Loree also holds a master’s degree in library science from Case Western Reserve University, was an academic librarian, practiced law and held multiple positions at OverDrive before retiring. The couple’s three children – Erica Lazzaro, Karen Estrovich and Brian Potash – are all active leaders in the business.
“UH’s patient-first approach deeply resonates with our family and our values,” said Loree. “We are proud to support UH and to have our name on this remarkable new center, which will benefit families throughout our community. As parents and grandparents, we can think of no better gift to our community than a state-of-the-art home for mothers and babies.”
Designed to exceed the highest standards for quality, expert care while meeting the unique needs and delivery preferences of patients and families, the Potash Women & Newborn Center will accommodate a variety of birth plans and will feature an on-site surgical suite and neonatal intensive care unit.
“Bringing a new baby into the world is among the most special moments in health care and we take pride in offering a loving, caring birthing environment for young families,” said Patti DePompei RN, MSN, President, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and UH MacDonald Women’s hospitals and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation Chair in Leadership and Innovation. “With the Potash Women & Newborn Center, we will extend this exceptional, family-centered care to UH Ahuja for the first time. I believe it will surpass all expectations and set a new standard of care in the field.”
The new center will meet the growing need for convenient, eastside access to maternity care and advanced labor and delivery services. It is estimated that the Potash Women & Newborn Center at UH Ahuja will deliver approximately 2,400 babies annually.
In addition to the named center, Steve and Loree’s gift will also launch an innovative literacy program, ensuring newborns and their families go home with their first collection of baby-friendly board books. The books will be accompanied by literature on healthy parenting tips and information about extra resources available for the entire family through their local public library.
Illiteracy is a serious problem, both nationally and locally. It is estimated that 66 percent of Cleveland residents are functionally illiterate, meaning their math, reading or language skills are below the fourth grade level. This makes simple tasks like reading a bus schedule or medicine bottle a struggle.
“Loree and I are dedicated to a world enlightened by reading and improving literacy rates and this program will increase community awareness of and access to books and learning,” said Steve. “More than 10,000 babies are born across the UH system each year – with this program, we hope to spark a love of reading early in children and educate families about the tremendous, free access they have to books and resources through the library system.”
Thanks to the Potash’s support, a pilot book program will launch at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital this year with plans to expand to other UH locations in 2022.
“Steve and Loree are passionate and inspiring leaders in our community and their commitment to our patients and families is unwavering,” said Cliff A. Megerian, MD, President, University Hospitals. “Their extraordinary philanthropy will ensure moms and babies get the high-quality care and specialized services they need, in the compassionate, family-focused environment they deserve. Their book program, though, is perhaps their ultimate gift, setting children on a path to discovery and learning from their first days. It’s an incredibly meaningful and impactful investment into our community.”
About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located in Cleveland’s University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, a high-volume national referral center for complex cardiovascular procedures; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with 28,000 physicians and employees. Advancing the Science of Health and the Art of Compassion is UH’s vision for benefitting its patients into the future and To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. is the organization’s unwavering mission. Follow UH on Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.