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Published on May 22, 2017

Founding board member Ferris Akel remembered for service

akel0517.jpgUHS governance has lost a Giant among those who provide governance to the UHS System as members of its boards of directors. Ferris Akel died May 19 at UHS Binghamton General Hospital with his family at his side. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Louise, as well as by his children, grandchildren and other family members. The Board of Directors of UHS will adopt a resolution honoring him Wednesday evening at its annual meeting.

"Ferris always had a soft spot in his heart for our organization and was helpful in countless ways within and behind the scenes to lend his support," said Matthew J. Salanger, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of UHS. "He was a very long-standing presence in the governing structure of UHS. I know that I valued the insights he freely gave and that I stand among many who will greatly miss him."

Mr. Akel was a visionary leader of UHS for many years, serving as a member of the board since 1981, UHS' year of incorporation. In 1995 he was again elected to the System board, on which he served until the time of his death. Over the years, he missed only one meeting, in March 2017. Additionally, he became a member of the board of Professional Home Care in 1994 and the board of UHS Home Care in 1998.

Mr. Akel was one of the Southern Tier's most prominent businessmen, contributing much to the economic success and high quality of life of the region through his co-ownership and co-management for many years of Binghamton Giant Markets, later sold to Weis Markets. His business partners were his brothers, George and Ronald, who survive him.