COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced today a gift of $20 million from the Wexner Family Charitable Fund that will benefit The Center for Family Safety and Healing (TCFSH) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. TCFSH’s mission is to fully address all aspects of family violence, including child abuse and neglect, teen dating abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse.
In 2011, the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s, which was founded in 2002, and the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, established in 1998, merged to become The Center for Family Safety and Healing. Abigail Wexner, the founder of the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, is the Board Chair of TCFSH and has been the driving force behind changing how the community responds to family violence.
“The Center for Family Safety and Healing has established itself as an integral part of the central Ohio community, helping countless individuals and families cope with difficult circumstances,” said Steve Allen, MD, CEO of Nationwide Children’s. “Abigail Wexner had a visionary plan when she proposed the creation of TCFSH. The Center has made a transformational impact and this is a testament to Abigail’s vision and the Wexner family’s dedication to this need. We at Nationwide Children’s are gratified for their innovation and unwavering generosity.”
The combination of the two entities allowed both organizations to form one integrated team with the goal of breaking the cycle of family violence. The multidisciplinary team approach includes a coordinated response to family violence for individuals and families in one location. All this is made possible through partnerships with law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution and a range of community resources, as well as an expanded forum for education, advocacy and ongoing research. Additionally, Big Lots Behavioral Health Services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers counseling for children and adolescents who have been abused and exposed to family violence. Parent training is provided for families whose children are at risk for abuse or neglect.
“Our family’s hope is that TCFSH will continue to have a long-lasting and positive impact for children and families who are the victims of violence,” said Mrs. Wexner. “This gift is intended to provide needed funding, helping further growth of the Center’s endowment, while inspiring others to support the many outstanding resources that have been poured into the goal of education, prevention and treatment. So long as there is a need for these types of services and programs, TCFSH will continue to be a resource for the central Ohio community.”
For 20 years, Mrs. Wexner hosted The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day, which raised more than $47 million on behalf of TCFSH. Prior to the establishment of TCFSH, The New Albany Classic supported the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence. Furthermore, under Mrs. Wexner’s leadership, TCFSH has experienced significant expansion and recognition as it added adult services and developed the nationally recognized public education campaign, “Where’s The Line?,” the first known bystander education effort of its kind.
This latest gift from the Wexner family, in tandem with funds they raised through the New Albany Classic, brings their cumulative personal giving and philanthropic impact to more than $80 million. This transformational funding has enabled Nationwide Children’s to expand clinical and research programs as one of America’s premiere pediatric leaders.
Mrs. Wexner has demonstrated a longstanding history of advocacy for Nationwide Children’s, which includes serving on the hospital’s board of directors since 1993 and acting as board chair for seven years from 2005 to 2012. During her tenure as board chair, Mrs. Wexner led the hospital during a period of unprecedented growth and success, including completion, at the time, of the nation’s largest pediatric expansion in history. The 2012 Master Facilities expansion encompassed a 12-story hospital building and a third research building with more than $1.2 billion in regional economic impact.