Alum, trustee honored for stellar career, service

Following his graduation from Heidelberg in 1963, Ernest Estep headed for The Ohio State University College of Medicine. M.D. degree in hand four years later, he ultimately returned to the Akron area to begin what would become a distinguished career as an obstetrician and gynecologist.

Now retired from Summa Health, Ernie was recently recognized not only for his career accomplishments but for a lifetime of achievement far beyond his medical practice.

On August 5, Ernie received the Community Alumni Award by the OSU College of Medicine Medical Alumni Society. According to a news release, the prestigious award recognizes the distinguished career achievements – both in contributions to the practice of medicine and to society as a whole – of Ohio State College of Medicine alumni who practice in non-academic settings.

Ernie graduated from the OSU College of Medicine in 1967. He completed an internship at Akron City Hospital, and served for two years in the Public Health Service on the Apache Indian River Reservation in Whiteriver, Arizona, where he delivered over 200 babies and worked to improve their health. After completing his residency in Akron, he pursued a successful OB-GYN practice with a multi-specialty group in Greeley, Colorado. He returned to Akron, where he went on to contribute on the boards of numerous professional medical associations, including actively serving on the Akron Community Foundation.

In 1999, Ernie he founded the Medical Society of Greater Akron, and served as its first president. He was also clinical associate professor of Northeast Ohio Medical University, medical director of the board of the Summit County Planned Parenthood, and served on the Ohio State Medical Committee on Maternal and Neonatal Health. He is a proud recipient of the prestigious 2018 Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award. 

A staunch conservationist, Ernie today helps maintain natural woodlands, a lake and crops on a family farm, and serves on the board of trustees of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Countryside Conservancy. He and his wife, Bonnie (Cline), also ’63, are longtime fellows of the National Garden Conservancy.

Heidelberg also has benefitted from Ernie and Bonnie’s generosity. Estep Gardens, created in 2007 with funds donated by the couple, grace the front of Adams Hall on Greenfield Street, the main thoroughfare through campus. Additionally, the Esteps have long supported many other capital campaigns and endeavors. They are long-time members of the Fellows Organization and members of the Heidelberg Heritage Society for those who have designated Heidelberg in their estate plans.

Ernie has served his undergrad alma mater as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2000.

We extend our warmest congratulations!

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