Nationwide Childrens Hospital Neonatology Staff Receives March of Dimes Awards

November 22, 2010

The March of Dimes recently hosted its 8th annual Health Leadership Awards Luncheon on November 17, 2010, also National Prematurity Awareness Day. This event honors individuals and organizations that have supported the mission of the March of Dimes by their extraordinary contributions in maternal and infant health. Several staff from the section of Neonatology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital were honored at this luncheon.  

Richard McClead, Jr., MD, MHA, a neonatologist and member of the Section of Neonatology at Nationwide Children’s, received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. McClead, also a professor and vice chairman for Quality in the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, has an interest in health care administration which has led to an active role in quality improvement initiatives at Nationwide Children’s and his current role as the medical director for Quality Improvement Service.

“We are proud to recognize Dr. McClead for the outstanding work he does everyday to provide quality care to babies born too soon,” said Cathy Paessun, Central Ohio Division director for the March of Dimes.

Also recognized at the luncheon was Leif Nelin, MD, FAAP, interim division chief of Neonatology and director of The Center for Perinatal Research at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s, Gary Snyder, MD, a neonatologist and a member of the Section of Neonatology, Melissa, Hamms, RNC, BSN, program manager of Neonatal Services and Jennifer Kushmeider, RN, care manager in Patient Care Services. Dr. Nelin received the Academy Physician award for his leadership in care delivery while Dr. Synder received the Community Physician award, Melissa was awarded the Health Care Support award and Jennifer received the Nursing award.

In addition to the award winners, Beth Martin, RN, nurse manager in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), was nominated for the Nursing award.

“The Health Leadership Awards Luncheon is an opportunity for the March of Dimes to recognize and applaud those who work towards our mission every day,” said Brianne McFarland, associate director of Program Services at the March of Dimes.

The March of Dimes’ mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Current focus is to heighten the awareness of the issues associated with premature birth and the need for intervention in our current situation. One out of every eight babies in the U.S., and also in central Ohio is born prematurely.

The finalists are nominated by their peers for helping improve the lives of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

For more information on the March of Dimes and premature birth, visit the Web site at, its Spanish Web site at or call 1-888-MODIMES.

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 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 1.6 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 Abigail Wexner 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