Distinguished Service Awards presented to, Dr. Robert Egdell, Dr. Gene Wenninger, and Bill and Eddye White Honored
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|Robert W. Egdell, M.D., Gene Wenninger, Ph.D., and Bill and Eddye White were recognized with the Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 2012 Distinguished Service Awards at the Robinson Society and Heritage Society Distinguished Giving Program on May 2.
Dr. Egdell, Dr. Wenninger and the Whites received the 20th Annual Distinguished Service Awards for their outstanding commitment to the community and to Robinson Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Egdell, of Kent, is an obstetrician/gynecologist with Northeast Ohio OB/GYN, who has delivered more than 6,300 babies during his 37-year tenure at Robinson Memorial Hospital. He documents each delivery in a weathered leather notebook, which he updates after each delivery. He has documented his deliveries of twins, New Year’s babies, Christmas babies and days when he delivered as many as nine newborns within a 24-hour period.
Dr. Egdell earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. Following an internship and residency at Wilmington Medical Center in Delaware, he served as a Lt. Commander, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve, where he was a senior medical officer at Keflavik Naval Dispensary in Iceland. In 1975, after completing his tour of duty, he returned to Ohio where he joined a group practice and the medical staff at Robinson Memorial Hospital, where he chaired the OB/GYN department for 16 years and served on numerous committees and boards. He is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics/Gynecology and has many professional affiliations.
Dr. Egdell has participated in the education of family practice residents at various hospitals and as a preceptor for medical students from NEOMED. He is a Clinical Associate Professor for the Department of OB/GYN at NEOMED. He is past president of the Portage County Medical Society, the Portage Physician Hospital Organization and the North Chestnut Medical Arts Condominium Association.
Dr. Egdell played an active role in the development of the following services at Robinson Memorial Hospital: childbirth education, electronic fetal heart monitoring, caesarean sections in the Birth Center, in-house anesthesia, epidurals for labor, code pink, midwifery practice and OB ultrasound.
Dr. Egdell was appointed to the Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors in 2011 and has established the Northeast Ohio OB/GYN Staff Education Fund to assist his staff with educational programs and professional training. He and his wife, Jan, currently serve on the Robinson Memorial Hospital Jewel of Portage County Gala.
Dr. Gene Wenninger, of Kent, was first appointed to the Robinson Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees in 1988. During his first term, he served as Chair of the Board of Trustees, from 1990 to 1993. Subsequent to that, he served as chair of the search committee which recommended that Stephen Colecchi be appointed President and CEO of Robinson Memorial Hospital.
Gene also served as vice chairperson of the hospital board for many years. He has also served as chair of the Board’s Marketing/Planning and Finance Committee, and as a member of the Board Professional Affairs Committee, the Hospital Ethics Committee and the Hospital Professional Improvement Committee.
He came to Kent State University in 1963 after earning a doctorate in sociology from the University of Illinois, preceded by degrees from Kent State and The Ohio State University. He was attracted to academic administration early, beginning as chairperson of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, then Director of the Center for Urban Regionalism and Environmental Systems, Associate Dean of the Graduate College, Dean for Research and Sponsored Programs, Executive Director of the Kent State University Foundation, and Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies. As the chief research administrator, Dr. Wenninger initiated the first technology transfer efforts and the licensing of intellectual property, primarily working with the Liquid Crystal Institute. Kent State University awarded Gene the President’s Medal for Outstanding Service in 1995.
Dr. Wenninger has had a commitment to public service his entire career, serving on a variety of regional planning committees early, then later on state level technology transfer and academic research coordination bodies. Locally, he has served on the Portage County Regional Planning Commission, the City of Kent Planning Commission, the Kent Visiting Nurse Association, the Kent Bicentennial Committee, and transportation related advisory committees. He also served as advisor to the 2004 revision of the City of Kent’s Comprehensive Plan. Gene has served as president of the Rotary Club of Kent and chair of the Kent Environmental Council. As Rotarian, Gene lead the club’s participation in the international program to eliminate polio around the world.
Bill White, of Ravenna, was appointed to the Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors in 2007. He and wife, Eddye, have been strong supporters of all Foundation events and activities. Eddye is one of the most active leaders of Robinson Memorial Hospital’s Love on a Leash program, bringing highly trained dogs to visit patients in the hospital.
Bill planned to graduate from Kent Roosevelt High School in 1946, however, at the age of 17 he enlisted in the Navy, where he served in the South Pacific for approximately two years. As a result, Bill was the first World War II graduate in Portage County who received his high school diploma more than 50 years after his scheduled graduation. He was awarded the diploma during halftime of a Ravenna-Kent football game in 2001. Bill signed a minor-league baseball contract but due to military and family commitments, he never played a game in the minors. After returning from the Navy, he declined an offer from the Chicago White Sox and instead began pursuing bowling in earnest. He was five-times bowler of the year and the Ohio state match-play champion in 1962-1963. He bowled on the pro tour in the 1950s and 1960s. He is in six hall of fames including the State Bowling Hall of Fame, Tri-County Bowling Hall of Fame, Summit County All Sports Hall of Fame, Portage County All Sports Hall of Fame and the Summit County Baseball Hall of Fame.
His start in the business side of bowling came as a pro shop employee at Midway Lanes in Kent in 1961. He then became a manager and in 1969 bought his first bowling alley in Garrettsville. In 1972 he bought Twin Star Lanes. He has continued to manage and own bowling alleys to this day. He recently completely renovated Bill White’s Akron Lanes, which now boasts 64 lanes (2nd largest in Ohio) with 44 leagues playing every day and night of the week. In 2011, Bill was name Ohio Bowling Proprietor of the Year. He has also been involved with the American Heart Association, the Red Cross and as a sports coach for the American Legion. Bill has raised funds and donated to dozens of charities and scholarships throughout the region.
Eddye White has been a volunteer at Robinson Memorial Hospital for 10 years. She is a leader of the hospital’s Love on a Leash program. Volunteers and their dogs are certified through the Pet Partners program of the Delta Society to ensure that the dogs are appropriate for visiting in a health-care setting. Volunteers are then screened through Volunteer Services, oriented to the hospital and trained specifically in making animal visits. Her faithful and loyal canine companions have included Emily, Buckeye, Jessie and Candy. Eddye joined the Robinson Hospice Program in 2010 and with dogs Jessie and Candy she visits nursing homes, group homes and patients in their homes. She has assisted many others in their efforts to become Love on a Leash volunteers. Eddye also works with her dogs, Jessie and Candy, as part of a program at Kent State University, “Dogs on Campus.” The program also utilizes pet therapy visits with students who live on campus, helping them during times of stress including feeling homesick, missing families and pets, and during final exams.
Each year, the Foundation presents the Distinguished Service Award to individuals who have given of themselves, their time, talent and treasures in support of Robinson Memorial Hospital. This includes service to the Hospital, Auxiliary, Foundation, Robinson Health Affiliates, Inc. or Medical Staff. The contribution must be extraordinary in nature and service. The following criteria are utilized to determine the award winner:
Previous Distinguished Service Award recipients include: Richard C. Wiland, 1991; Roberta D. Porthouse, 1993; Hugh W. and Mary Lee Riddle, and Estella Miller Rupp, 1994; Lucius B. Lyman, Jr., and Helen G. Stockdale, 1995; Robert M. Dumm, M.D., and North Chestnut Medical Arts Partnership; 1996; Dr. David S. and Jane R. Palmstrom, 1997; Diane M. Burbick and Dr. Peter Chen, 1998; Helen W. Dix, the Auxiliary of Robinson Memorial Hospital and Walter B. Webb, M.D., 1999; James H. and Jane M. Pohl, 2000; Rufus McCormick, M.D., and Louis and Nancy Sorboro, 2001; Rosemary Rhodes, 2002; Martin S. Paul, 2003; E.A. Webb, M.D., 2004; Emilio D. Ferrara, D.D.S., and Robert Roy, M.D., 2005; Ron Burbick and Judge Joseph Giulitto, 2007; Neil Mann, Jr., 2008; Richard and Joyce Fowler, 2009; Kathy and David Pangallo and Kenneth F. Rupp, M.D., 2010; Dr. Steve and Patti Dean and Norman Sandvoss (in memoriam) in 2011.
- Supports the goals of Robinson Memorial Hospital;
- Enhances the image of Robinson Memorial Hospital in the minds of residents of Portage County and the local community;
- Performs noteworthy activities on behalf of Robinson Memorial Hospital; and
- Enhances the image and assets of Robinson Memorial Hospital by representing it in a volunteer, fundraising or employment capacity.