Columbus Children’s Hospital today announced that it has received a ten-year, $50 million commitment from Nationwide Foundation to support expansion of programs and construction of a new main hospital that will further position the hospital as one of the nation’s top pediatric health care and research facilities. Unprecedented in Central Ohio, it is one of the largest philanthropic gifts ever from a corporate foundation in the U.S. and it is also the second largest single gift ever given to a children’s hospital nationally or internationally.*
The Nationwide gift will have an enormous impact on the delivery of world-class pediatric health care in central Ohio and beyond. Patients and families relying on superior, family-centered comprehensive care and research in childhood diseases and injury treatment will benefit.
“During the last decade, Columbus Children’s Hospital has emerged as a national leader in pediatric care and research,” said Abigail S. Wexner, chairman of the Children’s Hospital Inc. and Children’s Hospital Boards of Trustees. “This transformational commitment from Nationwide Foundation further cements our ability to be among the world’s leaders not only in pediatric care, but also research and education, while continuing our founding mission of providing needed care to all children regardless of any family’s ability to pay.”
“When families come to Children’s Hospital, they’re often dealing with very stressful issues. This gift reflects our philanthropic priority to help all families in times of crisis,” said Jerry Jurgensen, Nationwide chief executive officer. “We’re pleased this gift enables Children’s to further solidify its position as a national leader in pediatric care and research. This and future gifts will help Children’s become a world-class destination for pediatric care.”
To help position Children’s at the national level, and in commemoration of Nationwide Foundation’s gift, the hospital’s Trustees have voted to re-name the hospital Nationwide Children’s Hospital, effective early in 2007.
“This magnificent gift is something our entire community can celebrate and will have an enormous impact on the delivery of pediatric healthcare in central Ohio and beyond, ” said Ann Isaly Wolfe, former Children’s Hospital board chair and current chair of the hospital’s fundraising campaign. “It speaks not only of the historic generosity of Nationwide as a corporate citizen, but also to the company’s commitment to the well being of our children here and across the nation.”
Already the fifth largest children’s hospital in the U.S. and among the top ten in National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research centers, Columbus Children’s serves as the free-standing children’s hospital for all of central and southeastern Ohio as well as receiving hundreds of specialty referrals from throughout the United States and worldwide. Children’s is also home to The Ohio State University College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.
In the fall of 2005, the hospital announced an ambitious $740 million seven-year strategic expansion effort which includes planned investments in facilities, patient care and research programs, and talent recruitment.
The Nationwide Foundation gift will support several key areas within Children’s growth plan. Areas for focused investment include programmatic support for child safety and injury prevention, neonatal intensive care, and the heart center. Program support will provide for extended clinical services to care for premature and sick infants, including those with serious congenital heart disease, as well as key research that will directly impact patient care. In the area of child safety, a portion of the gift will increase the impact and reach of Children’s expert team to further reduce death and disability from childhood injury through research and prevention efforts, including car seat and bicycle helmet distribution and school-based injury prevention programs. Additionally, the gift will support the creation of several endowed chairs, representing the highest endorsement of a physician or scientist, and enabling Children’s to recruit and retain world-renowned talent.
Lastly, a portion of the Nationwide gift will support construction toward the new main hospital building, a world-class facility where families can be engaged at a new level, receiving culturally sensitive care, information and support during their child’s stay at Children’s.
“On behalf of the children we care for today and for future generations, we are extremely grateful and indebted to Nationwide,” Wexner said. “It is a comfort for every parent to know that our children will never have to leave Central Ohio to access the best pediatric care in the nation.”
*based on published resources