COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced today a gift of $1 million from Pamela and Jack Beeler of Bexley, Ohio, that will support the hospital’s Big Lots Behavioral Health Services. In particular, the gift will focus on services aimed at prevention efforts in the community, as well as researching the causes, treatment, and prevention of behavioral health conditions.
“We want to help improve access to care for families with behavioral health concerns,” said Mrs. Beeler. “And we think our community needs to do a better job building a safety net of prevention services and treatment options in general. We are impressed with the multidisciplinary behavioral health initiative underway at Nationwide Children’s, as well as their dedicated professionals. Our family is honored to get on board with this mission, because it really will take individuals, corporations, healthcare organizations, and government agencies working together to make a difference for young people in distress.”
A registered nurse, Pamela Beeler is a patient education coordinator at Nationwide Children’s. Jack Beeler is a partner at the law firm Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP. Together, they have been active in numerous causes, including the Columbus College of Art & Design, the Columbus Museum of Art, Franklin Park Conservatory, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and Library at The Ohio State University, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, Greater Columbus Sister Cities International, the March of Dimes, and others.
At Nationwide Children’s, the goal is to develop a system of pediatric behavioral health care that will serve as a national model for other systems. The cornerstone of that effort to improve the mental well-being and behavioral health of youth is The Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion, which is scheduled to open in early 2020. This nine story, state-of-the-art facility is expected to be the largest facility on a pediatric campus devoted to children and adolescent mental health.
Additionally, Nationwide Children’s launched the On Our Sleeves campaign last fall to create a network of support for the millions of families around the country living with mental illness by addressing the stigma associated with this diagnosis and providing the tools necessary to help improve behavioral health outcomes.
“Mental health is just as important as physical health, but unfortunately there is a lack of funding to support pediatric research that would help us better understand the causes and most effective treatments,” said David A. Axelson, MD, chief of the Department of Psychiatry and Big Lots Behavioral Health and section chief of Psychiatry at Nationwide Children’s. “On behalf of our patients, families and clinicians and researchers, we are deeply grateful to the Beeler family’s commitment to childhood mental and behavioral health. Their generosity is an example of how the community can be part of this important cause.”