COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nationwide Children’s Hospital has announced the creation of the Janet Orttung-Morrow, MD and Grant Morrow, III, MD Endowed Chair in Pediatric Behavioral Health. Endowed chairs are among the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a researcher, academic, or clinician. The first recipient of the chair is Cynthia A. Gerhardt, PhD.
Gerhardt is the director of the Center for Biobehavioral Health in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She is also a psychologist in the Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology Program at Nationwide Children’s and a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Gerhardt is an internationally known expert in risk and resilience factors associated with family adjustment to stress, particularly life-threatening illnesses such as childhood cancer. In recognition of her body of work, Gerhardt received the Dennis Drotar Distinguished Research Award from the American Psychological Association in 2016.
“It is such an honor to be recognized in this way,” said Gerhardt. “The Morrow name is synonymous with excellence and care in the medical field. This endowment will help ensure our continued efforts to improve the mental health of children and families in our community and across the country.”
The endowed chair was conferred to Gerhardt in a small ceremony earlier this spring and was made possible by generous support from the Morrow family. Janet Orttung-Morrow, MD, was a child psychiatrist with an interest in developmental and psychodynamic child psychiatry issues. She was well-known for her willingness to defend the interests of children, professional women, and for the rights and needs of persons with mental disorders. Dr. Orttung-Morrow passed away in 1993.
Prior to retirement in 2015, Grant Morrow, III, MD, was a member of the Molecular and Human Genetics Section at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He served on a number of national organizations, and held leadership assignments throughout the industry. He is perhaps most well-known for his commitment to pediatric research. Morrow presided over the construction of the first research-specific facilities on the Nationwide Children’s Hospital campus.
Morrow previously established a legacy gift to Nationwide Children’s. In 2018, Morrow and his wife, Cordelia Westwater-Robinson, directed the gift to create the endowed chair in a field beloved by Janet and to honor her legacy.
“Everyone in our family is passionate about behavioral health,” said Westwater-Robinson. “Emotional wellbeing is no less important than physical wellbeing. As a country, we have to do more. Nationwide Children’s has ambitiously stepped up to raise awareness, increase research, and improve clinical care for children facing these conditions. We are honored to be able to help in our way, while also celebrating the accomplishments of Grant and Janet.”