Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced the unveiling of the “Be The Reason” campaign today. The comprehensive campaign will serve as the foundation to continue establishing Nationwide Children’s as the country’s most integrated pediatric healthcare system. Funds raised through the campaign will support breakthrough and innovative research, recruitment and retention of world-class talent, investment in creating the best programs, and capital improvements, including the completion of state of the art facilities.
Fundraising for the “Be The Reason” initiative currently is in the “private phase,” a common fundraising stage when the duration and financial goal of a campaign are explored and funding priorities are refined and finalized.
Pledging their commitment to the “Be The Reason” campaign, Ann I. Wolfe and her husband, the late John F. Wolfe, donated $15 million, which will go towards research imaging capabilities and support for endowed chair opportunities. The Wolfe family has led by example with major philanthropy that has benefitted Nationwide Children’s, America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare network*.
In addition, following the passing of John Wolfe in late June, the community has demonstrated its incredible respect for the Wolfe family through memorial gifts totaling almost $1 million to Nationwide Children’s in honor of John.
Mrs. Wolfe, as announced in June 2016, has agreed to serve as the “Be The Reason” campaign chair and is joined by co-chairs Abigail Wexner and Alex Fischer.
“On behalf of Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients, families and staff, I want to express our deepest gratitude to Ann and the Wolfe family for their commitment of $15 million to the “Be The Reason” campaign and Ann’s extraordinary efforts in leading this initiative,” said Steve Allen, CEO, MD, Nationwide Children’s. “Community leaders, such as the Wolfe family, and thought leaders at Nationwide Children’s have been instrumental in helping to place the hospital at the forefront of pediatric healthcare advances and building upon the many past successes Nationwide Children’s Hospital has experienced.”
A $730 million campus-wide expansion, including plans for a $158 million Behavioral Health Pavilion, will be financed, in part, by the fundraising efforts of the “Be The Reason” initiative. The completion of state-of-the-art facilities will help accommodate growth at Nationwide Children’s central campus location, therefore allowing the hospital to continue to honor its mission of providing the highest quality of care to all children and their families, regardless of ability to pay.
As chair of the last two capital campaigns, Mrs. Wolfe has led fundraising efforts which have raised nearly $500 million for the hospital – highlights include the “For Our Children” campaign which raised $107 million and the “Change Their Tomorrow” campaign raising more than $300 million. Mrs. Wolfe was integral in securing the $50 million gift from Nationwide announced in 2006, which at the time was one of the largest philanthropic gifts from a corporate foundation in the U.S. and the second largest single gift ever given to a children’s hospital. Mrs. Wolfe also has been instrumental in numerous other gifts and philanthropic efforts.
Furthermore, Mrs. Wolfe has given decades of service to Nationwide Children’s. Serving as a hospital board member since 1982, she became the first woman to chair the board in 1990 and served a second term as chair in 2001-2002. She also served as chair of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation Board (1987-1990) and currently is serving in that role in 2015-2016.
“Nationwide Children’s is a leader in pediatric innovation due to the help of extraordinary community partners such as the Wolfe family,” said Jim Digan, President of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation. “I too, would like to thank Ann and the Wolfe family for their generous contributions on behalf of all the children and families we serve. During this private phase time period, we are grateful for the support of the Wolfe family, our boards of directors and other community leaders, as we work towards a grand public launch supporting the best outcomes for children everywhere.
“Looking to the future of pediatric healthcare, I believe Nationwide Children’s is uniquely positioned to lead this next era of advancement. The continued partnership with the community will allow us to have a lasting impact."
*Based on 2014 Children’s Hospital Association data.