Nationwide Childrens Hospital, Community Partners Unveil 2010-11 Full Potential Collaborative Childrens Health Report

November 17, 2010

Today during a Columbus Metropolitan Club forum, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Columbus Public Health Department and more than a dozen other local organizations came together to, once again, spark a community-wide conversation about the state of pediatric health in Franklin County, and unveil the 2010-11 Full Potential Collaborative Children’s Health Report – a comprehensive follow-up to the original report first introduced in May 2008.

New this year is a progress report card that evaluates the community’s performance in addressing the 10 leading health indicators identified in the initial report as key barometers of children’s health – asthma, teen smoking, teen pregnancy, unintentional injuries, adolescent suicide, adolescent homicide, access to health care, infant mortality/preterm birth, immunization and obesity.

“I want to congratulate Columbus Public Health and the many local organizations for their shared commitment with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in addressing these public health concerns during the last two years,” continued Abigail Wexner, Chair of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Board of Directors. “It is vital to the health and well being of our community’s children that we continue to partner, build upon existing resources and look at new ways to ensure their future is bright.”

The 2010-11 report gives a snapshot of the strides made to date, examines current challenges the community faces and shows how Franklin County compares to the rest of Ohio and to the United States. It examines current data, gains fresh insights from local experts, provides updates on some of the children and families featured in the very first report and introduces new faces to some of these vital issues.

Since the launch of the 2008 report, new community initiatives have been established to address the issues of obesity and preterm births, and action is being taken around all 10 health indicators.

“Much of the progress made to date is a result of people and organizations that took a firm stand on one of the health indicators and pledged to make a difference,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “There is still much more work to do, and by coming together as a community and taking a stand on these public health concerns, we can help all children reach their full potential.”

Teresa C. Long, MD, MPH, Columbus Public Health Commissioner, added, “This report looks at issues that are critical to the health of our children – and represents an important measure of the health of our community. We must continue to work together to assure our kids have the opportunities to achieve their optimum health.”

Most notably in the 2010-11 report, pediatric obesity remains a local emergency, with BMI screenings revealing that 47 percent of fifth graders in Columbus City Schools are overweight or obese. The good news is that the community is taking action. In 2010, with the support of many Full Potential partners, the Healthy Choices for Healthy Children act was passed in the state of Ohio. This landmark legislation will increase fitness and nutrition in schools throughout the state.

Also, preterm birth remains the number one cause of infant deaths in our community, and infant mortality rates are still higher in Franklin County than Ohio or the U.S. However, the collaborative Ohio Better Birth Outcomes initiative is tackling the issue through a series of proven interventions with high risk pregnant women which are already starting to improve prematurity numbers.

There is still a wide disparity in immunization rates between the urban and suburban areas of Franklin County. To help address this, Columbus Public Health, Nationwide Children’s and Columbus City Schools are holding seasonal flu vaccination clinics at every school in the district this year.

To read more about how Franklin County fares in all 10 health indicators, visit www.NationwideChildrens.org/full-potential-report to view the 2010-11 Full Potential Collaborative Children’s Health Report.

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report ‘s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems 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 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 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.