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Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund Accelerating Lifesaving Progress at Newly-Formed Institute For Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Nationwide Foundation donates additional $10 million and first patients enter program – less than one year after launch

Columbus, OH - 5/30/2017

The Nationwide Foundation today announced a new $10 million gift for the Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to help accelerate the most promising research and clinical discoveries at Nationwide Children’s.  The Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund was established by the Nationwide Foundation in 2014 and has contributed $30 million since its initial gift of $10 million in that same year. The Fund has supported several key clinical and research efforts in heart health, neonatology, injury prevention and most notably genomics.
 
The Innovation Fund is already having transformational impact; last year, helping make possible the recruitment of world-renowned genomics researchers Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D. and Elaine R. Mardis, Ph.D. to lead the new Institute for Genomic Medicine in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. Dr. Wilson and Dr. Mardis are among the most cited researchers in modern science whose work has played key roles in many of the most notable federally funded genomics research initiatives, including the Human Genome Project, The Cancer Genome Atlas, the Human Microbiome Project and the 1,000 Genomes Project.
 
The Institute for Genomic Medicine is one of the first ventures into pediatric personalized genomic medicine at any children’s hospital and focuses on genomics as the root cause of many childhood diseases.
 
Thanks to the acceleration made possible through the Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund, in less than one year since the formal establishment of the Institute, the team and organizational structure has been established; the Cloud computing, IT infrastructure and strategic plan have been accomplished; and plans are in place for cancer-specific exome sequencing, which is on track for later this year. Most impressive, approximately 40 children and their families have entered a new program and have begun the complex process of exome sequencing with the goal of finding genetic linkages and possibly enhanced treatment options for their various conditions. More updates on patient progress are expected later this year.
 
Nationwide Foundation support has also enabled the establishment of endowed chairs for Wilson and Mardis as both are named Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chairs in Genomic Medicine. For clinicians and researchers working in academic-medical institutions like Nationwide Children’s Hospital, endowed chairs represent the most prestigious and significant recognition of their work. Additionally, endowed chairs enable Nationwide Children’s to recruit and retain world-renowned talent.
 
“The Nationwide Foundation is proud to support the important and life-changing work happening at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. We are committed to helping the hospital provide top ranked clinical care for children in our communities. Our partnership with the hospital supports efforts to attract world renowned doctors and researchers, such as Dr. Wilson and Dr. Mardis, whose expertise and commitment can make significant strides with innovative medical treatment for children around the world,” said Nationwide CEO and Nationwide Foundation chairman Steve Rasmussen. “It’s exciting to see the advances that have recently been made to support genomic research, and it’s also heartening to know that many children are already benefiting from this work.”
 
In addition to Genomics, the Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund continues to have an active role in supporting injury prevention efforts, which includes their engagement with Nationwide Children’s Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP). Contributions made by the foundation to the hospital have supported important child safety research and in collaboration with CIRP, the Make Safe Happen app was developed. The app is aimed at making the rooms in a home safer and provides parents and caregivers a room-by-room safety checklist and links to recommended safety products.
 
“We are honored by the ongoing support we receive from the Nationwide Foundation and are grateful for their dedication to the advancement of promising research and clinical discoveries that will have an impact across the globe,” said Steve Allen, MD, Nationwide Children’s Hospital CEO. “The continued commitment has positioned Nationwide Children’s as pioneers in injury prevention and genomics – the key to personalized or ‘precision’ medicine. Likewise, injury prevention research is vital as millions of children are injured in and around the home each year. The hospital’s partnership with the Nationwide Foundation helps further the goal of making homes safer."
 
In 2006, the Nationwide Foundation committed $50 million to Nationwide Children’s to support clinical and research priorities. Through this funding, the hospital recruited distinguished talent, expanded its main campus and dedicated a third building to research that allows families to receive the highest caliber care, information and support during their child’s stay at Nationwide Children’s.
 
Nationwide Children’s has also benefitted from Nationwide’s sports marketing sponsorships. Combined efforts through the Memorial Tournament, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Legend’s Luncheon, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and partnerships with Hendrick Motorsports and The Dale Jr. Foundation helped raised more than $4 million in 2016 and over $20 million since 2007.
 
About Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-17 list of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare system providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 11,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.2 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. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.
 
About The Nationwide Foundation
 
The Nationwide Foundation is a nonprofit, private foundation to which Nationwide companies are the donors. Founded in 1959, the Nationwide Foundation has committed more than $394.4 million since 2000 to help nonprofit organizations in communities where Nationwide associates and their families live and work. Just as Nationwide supports its customers in their moment of need, both Nationwide and the Nationwide Foundation’s involvement in its home communities is focused on supporting organizations that help people facing critical or immediate need.
 
About Nationwide
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.

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