COLUMBUS, Ohio – 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 now contributed $50 million, including the announcement of today’s gift.
This most recent donation brings cumulative donations from Nationwide Foundation to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to $100 million. The Fund has supported several key clinical and research efforts in heart health, neonatology, injury prevention and most notably genomics. Plans are also underway to expand support for pediatric cancer research, with more details to come later this year.
The Innovation Fund has enabled transformational impact by helping make possible the recruitment in 2016 of world-renowned genomics researchers Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D. and Elaine R. Mardis, Ph.D., to lead the Institute for Genomic Medicine (IGM) in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. Since their arrival, Drs. Mardis and Wilson have worked collaboratively with clinicians in different subspecialties to introduce innovative genomics-based testing and have initiated new research efforts in several disciplines. Established in 2016, the IGM remains one of the few programs in pediatric personalized genomic medicine in the U.S. and focuses on genomics as the root cause of many childhood diseases.
Thanks to the support provided by the Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund, over 250 families have received clinical genomics testing, providing diagnostic answers in several cases for children with complex and previously undiagnosed conditions. In addition, over 50 children with cancer have been evaluated by genome sequencing to identify tumor-specific vulnerabilities that represent potentially new treatment directions. In the coming year, again thanks to this support, IGM will be able to offer these tests – and hope – to many more patients and their families. New focus areas for genomic research and clinical testing include epilepsy and other seizure disorders, behavioral health disorders and infectious disease. IGM has already grown to 120 employees working in clinical testing, technology development/validation and research projects, and we continue to identify and recruit outstanding staff.
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 has a longstanding commitment to helping the hospital provide top-ranked clinical care for children in our communities. Our partnership supports efforts to attract world-renowned doctors and researchers who are making significant strides with innovative medical treatment for children around the world,” said Nationwide CEO and Nationwide Foundation chairman Steve Rasmussen. “The advances being made in genomic research are potentially life-changing, and it’s heartening to know that many children and families will benefit from this work.”
“We are honored by the Nationwide Foundation’s ongoing support and its dedication to innovative research and clinical discoveries that will have an impact across the globe,” said Steve Allen, MD, Nationwide Children’s Hospital CEO. “Their continued commitment has enabled Nationwide Children’s to become a pioneer in genomics, accelerating the next generation of diagnoses and treatment. The future of pediatric medicine is brighter because of the Nationwide Foundation. “
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. Overall, Nationwide Foundation support has now reached $100 million with this most recent Innovation Fund gift.
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 raise more than $27 million since 2007.
About Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 list of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare 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 nearly 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.
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 contributed more than $430.7 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.
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.