COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced today that its nationally known genomic medicine institute is being renamed to honor the transformational support of Steve and Cindy Rasmussen. The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine will move genome-based testing into the mainstream of pediatric diagnosis and treatment, making the results accessible and meaningful for patients and families.
Steve and Cindy Rasmussen have both served for many years as tireless advocates for advancing the mission of Nationwide Children’s. In 2014, Rasmussen, as Nationwide’s CEO, created the Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. To date, Nationwide Foundation has given $60 million through the Fund to accelerate the most promising treatments and discoveries at Nationwide Children’s. The Innovation Fund has supported breakthroughs in a number of specialty areas including injury, tissue engineering, cardiovascular research, behavioral health, and more.
A hallmark of the Innovation Fund occurred in 2016 when funds first were allocated toward establishing the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s and the recruitment of internationally renowned scientists Richard K. Wilson, PhD, and Elaine Mardis, PhD, who serve as co-executive directors of the Institute
"As Steve retires from Nationwide, we could not think of a better way to recognize his visionary leadership and the steadfast support of this wonderful couple than by naming the Institute for Genomic Medicine in their honor,” says Tim Robinson, CEO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “They know the impact that we can all have on pediatric medicine. And they make it happen. Few people can speak as passionately or knowledgeably about Nationwide Children’s than Steve and Cindy.”
Rasmussen joined the Nationwide Children’s board of trustees in 2011 while Cindy brought her energy and enthusiasm to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation board the same year.
“Cindy and I are humbled by this gesture and proud of the ground-breaking genomics research being conducted by the Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” Rasmussen said. “Focusing the Nationwide Foundation’s resources on this transformational work will lead to treatments and cures unheard of even just a few years ago. To have our names affiliated with the Institute is a great honor, but the real heroes are the researchers and medical experts doing this incredible work and elevating the Hospital to world-class status in terms of treatment and care for families from all over the globe.”
Additionally, two endowed chairs currently occupied by Dr. Wilson and Dr. Mardis will be renamed in honor of the Rasmussens. Endowed chairs are the highest honor that can be awarded to a researcher or clinician and are vital in recruiting and supporting the best minds in medicine.