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Behavioral health research, Genomics programs highlight $10 million Nationwide Foundation donation to Nationwide Children’s Hospital

2022 gift brings total contributions to Nationwide Children’s Hospital through the Pediatric Innovation Fund to $140 million

Columbus, OH – Behavioral health research and genomics are among several programs at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that will continue to benefit from funding as part of a new $10 million gift that the Nationwide Foundation is making through their Pediatric Innovation Fund.

Nationwide Children’s will use this new support from the Nationwide Foundation to expand the hospital’s portfolio of research into pediatric behavior health conditions. The medical industry recognizes that treatment on its own will not solve the behavioral health epidemic challenging the country. Research into better prevention and clinical treatment is vital.

Funds from this year’s gift will also continue to benefit the hospital’s Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine (IGM). 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. Since its inception, the IGM has provided more than 59,000 clinical genomics-based tests for more than 16,000 patients with a wide variety of conditions.

“The Pediatric Innovation Fund has been a game-changer,” said Tim Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “These funds accelerate key initiatives across our organization, advancing promising discoveries and tackling some of toughest issues in pediatrics today. With support from the Nationwide Foundation, we have attracted and funded some of the brightest minds in pediatric research and care. This is impact that will be felt for decades to come.”                                                                                 

Other programs benefiting from this year’s $10 million gift include:

On Our Sleeves
This year’s gift will also continue to support Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s On Our Sleeves®  movement that aims to break stigmas and start conversations about childhood mental health. The program has provided free mental health education resources to more than 3 million people since 2018 and attracted both local and national partners.

This year’s donation will enable additional research and national marketing and awareness building for the second phase of The Great Collide research, specifically studying the impact of child mental health in the workplace. The original study, funding by the Innovation Fund in 2021 revealed that employee concerns over pediatric mental health affects business. Funding will also support curriculum production of Bloom materials for employees, an Ohio convening event featuring key stakeholders in the space, and more.

Population Health in Linden
Support from the 2022 award will continue investment in vital, evidence-based programs to help ensure all children have a healthy future in Columbus’ historic Linden neighborhood. Last year, the Nationwide Foundation committed $2 million to Nationwide Children’s Healthy Neighborhoods, Health Families initiative to create single-family affordable housing units in Linden.

Infectious Disease Fellowship
Patients with infections have better outcomes if managed by an Infectious Disease subspecialist. The 2022 Innovation Fund support will endow an Infectious Disease Host Defense program.

New Endowed Chair in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research
Another significant focus of funding for the new $10 million gift will support the creation of the Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair for Clinical and Translational Research. The chair will be awarded to John David Spencer, MD, Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and Principal Investigator in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research. With the creation of the chair, Nationwide Children’s role as a leader in this area will grow and help ensure no child has to leave central Ohio for world-class care.

“The Nationwide Foundation is proud to be able to make a difference by partnering with Nationwide Children’s Hospital on solutions for our community and on critically important research that makes an impact and improves the welfare of children and their families,” said Nationwide CEO and Nationwide Foundation Chairman Kirt Walker.

The Nationwide Foundation established the Pediatric Innovation Fund in 2014 to target strategic investments in pediatric and community health and to accelerate the most promising research and clinical discoveries at Nationwide Children’s. So far, the foundation has contributed $90 million to the fund, including the 2022 gift. With the Nationwide Foundation’s initial $50 million donation in 2006, its contributions have now reached $140 million. In addition, Nationwide’s sports marketing programs, including the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, have raised more than $50 million since 2011 to support hospital programs.

“Creating the Pediatric Innovation Fund has allowed us to make meaningful contributions in the lives of children and their families not only locally, but worldwide,” Walker said. “The research discoveries and innovations happening at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are shared with pediatric hospitals across the country and around the world to help children everywhere.”

About Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care 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 more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.6 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 Abigail Wexner 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 $550 million since 2000 to help nonprofit organizations in communities where Nationwide associates and their families live and work.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities, mutual funds and ETFs; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.