A gift from Eleanor Watanakunakorn provided the funds needed to complete the $1 million relocation and renovation of the special care nursery at Akron Children’s Beeghly campus in Boardman.
The new center, named in honor of Eleanor’s granddaughter, Alexis Caroline Watanakunakorn, was dedicated at a ceremony on June 24.
In 2013, Alexis spent the first month of her life at Akron Children’s – first in our neonatal intensive care unit at St. Elizabeth and then in the special care nursery at our Beeghly campus. When Eleanor learned about our plans to create a new nursery, she generously gave back with a $1 million gift.
The all-new nursery features 15 individual patient rooms, including 3 twin rooms, an isolation room and a family overnight room.
“Our children are our future,” said Eleanor. “I’m happy that I can support an organization that works toward ensuring theirs is healthy and secure.”
For more than 30 years, Eleanor and her family have supported healthcare throughout the Mahoning Valley.
Her husband, Dr. Chatrchai Watanakunakorn, spent more than 3 decades serving as an educator at Northeast Ohio Medical University and an infectious disease specialist for St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Youngstown. After he passed away in 2001, Eleanor continued his work by supporting northeast Ohio’s medical community, including Akron Children’s.
“We are extremely grateful to Mrs. Watanakunakorn for her generous gift that both honors her granddaughter and continues her husband’s legacy of care,” said JoAnn Stock, director of development for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.
As part of our year-long anniversary celebration, we’re telling the story of Akron Children’s through the eyes of past and present employees, doctors, donors, volunteers and patient families. We encourage you to share your own memories and stories about us.