Dr. Bill Keck, the director of the Akron City Health Department at the time, had previously tried to start an FQHC in Akron, but there were not any federal funds available and he was discouraged from applying. In the mid-1990s, Cleveland State graduate Ralph Faulkner connected with Dr. Keck with an idea. At the time, Akron was the only metropolitan area in Ohio without a federally qualified health center to deliver medical care to medically underserved areas. So, Faulkner and Keck decided to join forces to provide this invaluable asset to the Akron community and create a culture of community care.
However, securing federal funds isn’t easy. The two men had to gain support from the City of Akron, Akron Children’s, Akron General, and Summa Health to forge a city-wide partnership that could sustain a community health center. Though the process was unconventional and took time, they eventually had the funds and support to push for the creation of a health center. After a series of rejections and compromises, Akron Community Health Resources was established. In 1994, AxessPointe received funding to establish the first FQHC in Summit County and then in 1995 began seeing patients out of the Wilbeth-Arlington homes. Since then, we’ve been able to expand and change lives throughout our community, never forgetting our humble beginnings and the work it took to get here.