News Room Articles

Mark Galantowicz, MD, and John P. Cheatham, MD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Honored with Endowed Chairs

COLUMBUS, OH - 12/17/2007

Mark Galantowicz, MD (43220), chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and co-director of The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and John P. Cheatham, MD (43215), director of Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Therapy and co-director of The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s, were honored with the Murray D. Lincoln Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery and the George H. Dunlap Endowed Chair in Interventional Cardiology, respectively.

The Murray D. Lincoln Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery and the George H. Dunlap Endowed Chair in Interventional Cardiology are the third and fourth of five endowed chairs made possible by the extraordinary gift to Nationwide Children’s from the Nationwide Foundation. For clinicians and researchers working in academic-medical institutions like Nationwide Children’s, endowed chairs represent the most prestigious and significant recognition of their work.

“With the creation of these endowed chairs, we are pleased to honor former leaders of Nationwide who were responsible for creating and building our company’s tradition of partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” said Jerry Jurgensen, chief executive officer of Nationwide. “Murray Lincoln and George Dunlap were well-known for their leadership of Nationwide, support of the greater Columbus community and passion for their work, making them natural choices for the honor."

Nationwide Children’s received a ten-year, $50 million commitment from the Nationwide Foundation in June 2006 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. The Nationwide Foundation gift will support several key areas within Nationwide Children’s growth plan.

“For decades, Nationwide and Nationwide Children’s Hospital have grown together to become two of the most trusted and respected institutions in our city,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “We honor and recognize four men from these organizations for their pioneering work in their respective fields.”

The Murray D. Lincoln Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery is named for Murray Danforth Lincoln. In 1926, Lincoln helped to found the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, which ultimately became Nationwide in 1955. Over the years, Lincoln served in many executive roles (president, chief executive and board member) within the companies that would eventually merge to become Nationwide Mutual Insurance.

The George H. Dunlap Endowed Chair in Interventional Cardiology is named for George H. Dunlap who was the youngest director in Nationwide history when he was elected to the board in 1939 at the age of 33. He was elected general chairman of the Nationwide Insurance Organization in 1969. When he retired in 1972, Dunlap was president or chief executive officer of nine Nationwide companies.

In 2006, Stephen Welty, MD, chief of Neonatology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, was honored with the first of five endowed chairs, the Dean W. Jeffers Endowed Chair in Neonatology. Earlier this year, Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, was honored with the second of five endowed chairs, the Dimon R. McFerson Endowed Chair in Injury Research.

Murray Danforth Lincoln
Murray Danforth Lincoln touched many lives during his tenure with Nationwide. He firmly believed “people have within their own hands the tools to fashion their own destiny,” as he wrote in his autobiography. Lincoln not only shaped his own future, but improved the lives of thousands.

Born on a small farm in 1892, Lincoln later received a degree from the University of Massachusetts. In 1915, he married his wife, Anne Hurst of Easton, Mass.

Lincoln was a vigorous champion of providing assistance to impoverished or underdeveloped areas on a people-to-people basis. He helped found CARE, the international relief organization and was a member of the National Advisory Council of the Peace Corps, National Commission on Literacy, the Advisory Committee of the Agency for International Development (AID) and many other important organizations. He was the chairman of President John F. Kennedy’s Food for Peace task force and was on the executive committee of the U.S. Committee for the United Nations.

Lincoln believed organizations needed a person in charge of “revolution … a professional needler who, by timely reminders, would keep leadership on its toes and on the right track.” Through his outstanding business acumen, volunteer activism and dedication to helping people, Lincoln helped to keep not only his company, but the lives of thousands, on the right track.

George H. Dunlap
George H. Dunlap took the work ethic, integrity and determination of a small country farmer and applied it to the boardrooms of Nationwide – and he remained humble. In spite of being on the board of 19 Nationwide companies, he always viewed himself as a simple farmer.

Born in 1906 in Cadiz, Ohio, Dunlap studied agriculture at The Ohio State University. With the passing of his father, Dunlap left the university and took over the farm obligations in 1925. He and his wife, Gladys, owned and operated two farms for 45 years.

Dunlap quickly became a leader and innovator in the farm cooperative movement, serving on the boards of national and international cooperative leagues throughout his career.

John E. Fisher, former Nationwide CEO, described Dunlap as a man “with a sense of humor, a sharp intelligence and a capacity of learning that is extraordinary. His understanding and sincere love of people enabled him to reach the heights in the business world.”

Mark Galantowicz, MD
Mark Galantowicz, MD, is chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and co-director of The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Galantowicz is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Galantowicz was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to conduct molecular biology research at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and completed his surgical training, including fellowships in adult and pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Galantowicz joined Nationwide Children’s in 2002 to head up the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and where he also serves as the surgical director of the Heart, Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation programs. His clinical interests are in the areas of the surgical treatment and repair of newborns with congenital heart defects and cardiopulmonary transplantation. In his tenure at Nationwide Children’s he completed the hospital’s first successful heart, lung and heart-lung transplants including some of the youngest and smallest patients in the world. His work has helped expand the hospital’s Blood Conservation program for congenital heart surgery, making The Heart Center an international treatment center for patients coming from all over the world. Additionally, he helped design the country’s first Hybrid Congenital Cardiac Operating Suite, allowing the technology first developed in the Hybrid Catheterization Suites to translate into a state-of-the-art operating suite.

His research interests focus on the development of innovative, less-invasive strategies for the management of cardiopulmonary disease. Galantowicz has authored several publications and presented to both national and international audiences on his surgical and hybrid procedures to treat cardiac malformations and congenital heart disease. His combined talent and expertise extends across borders as he performs life-saving operations on children with heart defects in developing countries.

He and his wife Barbara have four children, Maarten, Nicholas, Tess and Derrick.

John P. Cheatham, MD
John P. Cheatham, MD, is the director of Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Therapy and co-director of The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Cheatham is a Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Cheatham completed his residency at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

Cheatham joined Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2002 where he partnered with a leading healthcare technology company to design the world’s first Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Suites and advanced imaging equipment, allowing the interventionalist and cardiothoracic surgeon to perform combined therapy in order to improve clinical outcomes in patients referred to The Heart Center. In addition to his clinical roles, he serves as the co-director of Nationwide Children’s International Program and has implemented a formal physician exchange program with two of the leading medical institutions in China. Through his career, Cheatham has pioneered several new techniques and devices in non-surgical intervention, as well as serving as a world leader in the ongoing development of new Hybrid therapies. 

Cheatham’s area of expertise is in transcatheter intervention and Hybrid therapy of newborns, children and adults with complex congenital heart disease.

Cheatham has been a principal investigator in numerous FDA sponsored clinical trials evaluating non-surgical closure devices and stent therapy over the past two decades. He serves as a consultant to various medical companies and proctors, and teaches new transcatheter techniques and devices to other physicians around the world. Cheatham has authored more than 103 manuscripts, 14 book chapters, 280 national and international presentations, and is co-editing a book on “Complications in Percutaneous Interventions for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease.” 

In 2007, Cheatham was selected as one of the top 25 Innovators in Healthcare by Health Imaging & IT, and was honored as the recipient of the Achievement Award at the prestigious 2007 PICS & AICS conference attended by interventional cardiologists from all over the world.

He has two adult sons, Seth and Hunter.

The Nationwide Foundation is an independent corporation funded by contributions from Nationwide companies. Founded in 1959, the Nationwide Foundation has committed more than $169 million since 2000 to help nonprofit organizations in communities where Nationwide associates and their families live and work. For more information, visit

Nationwide is a federally registered service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

To download a headshot of Dr. Mark Galantowicz and Dr. John Cheatham, go to, click on the news release and headshots are located at the bottom of the page.

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