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Nationwide Children’s Hospital Receives $5 Million Gift from Worthington Industries and McConnell Family Foundations Establishing the NEXT Consortium

Columbus, OH - 5/5/2015

Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced today it has received a combined $5 million gift from Worthington Industries and the McConnell Family Foundation to help establish the National Experimental Therapeutics (NEXT) Consortium. The NEXT Consortium is a collaborative research model that unites multiple research centers with the goal of expediting the most advanced treatments in the shortest timeframe possible in pediatric oncology, hematology and bone marrow transplant. The gift aligns directly with the strategic plan of Nationwide Children’s, which places a priority on pre-eminent programs that integrate research with clinical care to enhance patient outcomes.
 
“With Worthington Industries’ and the McConnell’s generosity, this gift will help us accelerate testing of new therapies that result from groundbreaking research being conducted at Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” said Timothy P. Cripe, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology/BMT. “We are extremely pleased to not only offer new options for patients in Columbus, but also to be able to partner with other like-minded pediatric centers around the world to reach cures faster.”
 
One of the first research initiatives to operate within the NEXT Consortium will be the “Head Start 4” protocol. Head Start 4 is a tailored radiotherapy-avoiding approach to the treatment of newly diagnosed malignant central nervous system tumors of young children. For many children, the treatment of this type of cancer can have long-term negative impacts on their development and overall health. The goal of this particular initiative is to use a brief but intensive course of chemotherapy for these young children to both improve the cure rate and the quality of survival through minimizing long-term side effects. Jonathan L. Finlay, MB, ChB, FRCP, Director of Neuro-Oncology at Nationwide Children’s is the principal investigator of the Head Start series. This will be the fourth sequential Head Start study conducted by Dr. Finlay during the past 25 years.
 
“These studies have pioneered the treatment approaches for young children that have now been adopted and adapted globally,” said Dr. Finlay. “However, there is still need for continued improvement in outcomes both in terms of cure and quality of survival. The Head Start 4 study, based at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and 40 additional leading pediatric cancer centers from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Brazil, will focus, for the first time, on tailoring the intensity of the chemotherapy according to both clinical and molecular biology profiling. None of this would have been possible without the resources available at Nationwide Children’s and this gift from the Worthington Industries and McConnell Family Foundations.”
 
Worthington Industries and its Foundation have been giving to worthwhile community causes since its founding in 1955 and have cumulatively contributed nearly $9 million to Nationwide Children’s, supporting areas of greatest need and numerous events and programs. As a diversified metals manufacturer, Worthington Industries’ philosophy puts people first: in the workplace, with their customers, suppliers, investors and in their communities.
 
“We are very excited to be a partnering with Nationwide Children’s Hospital on this transformational research and breakthrough treatment,” said John McConnell, Chairman and CEO of Worthington Industries. “My family and Worthington Industries are proud to have a legacy of giving with Nationwide Children’s. We are fortunate to have such an excellent resource in our community serving the needs of so many here, around the country and the world.”
 
For more information on Nationwide Children’s and NEXT Consortium, visit Nationwidechildrens.org/next-consortium.
 
About Worthington Industries
Worthington Industries is a leading global diversified metals manufacturing company with 2014 fiscal year sales of $3.1 billion.  Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Worthington is North America’s premier value-added steel processor providing customers with wide ranging capabilities, products and services for a variety of markets including automotive, construction and agriculture; a global leader in manufacturing pressure cylinders for industrial gas and cryogenic applications, CNG and LNG storage, transportation and alternative fuel tanks, oil and gas equipment, and brand consumer products for camping, grilling, hand torch solutions, scuba diving and helium balloon kits; and a manufacturer of operator cabs for heavy mobile industrial equipment; laser welded blanks for light weighting applications; automotive racking solutions; and through joint ventures, complete ceiling grid solutions;  automotive tooling and stampings; and steel framing for commercial construction.  Worthington employs approximately 11,000 people and operates 84 facilities in 11 countries.
 
About Nationwide Children’s Hospital 
Ranked 7th of only 10 children's hospitals on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare networks providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s, also ranked among the Top 10 on Parents magazine’s 2013 “Best Children’s Hospitals” list, has a medical staff of 1,100 and nearly 10,000 employees providing state-of-the-art pediatric care for one million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. Nationwide Children’s remains true to the original mission since its founding in 1892 of providing care regardless of a family’s ability to pay. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.

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