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A Message from Steve Allen, MD

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we have experienced a year of scientific and clinical breakthroughs that received international attention, and we have deepened our commitment to improve the well-being of children in our community. As you will see in this annual report, our work is making a difference at home and throughout the world.

Perhaps most notably, we published on the success of a gene therapy for young children with spinal muscular atrophy type 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study, led by Jerry Mendell, MD, founder of our Center for Gene Therapy, was named by Science as one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of the year.

Nationwide Children’s made other important contributions to research published in New England Journal of Medicine in the last year. Anup Patel, MD, section chief of Neurology, was co-lead author of a study that helped result in FDA approval of a first-of-its-kind epilepsy medication; and Emily de Los Reyes, MD, director of our Batten Disease Center of Excellence, was an investigator in a trial showing that an enzyme replacement therapy reduced function declines related to CLN2 disease.

Our institution has also continued to emphasize four areas where we have made landmark investments, putting us at the forefront of pediatric health care:

  • Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. A novel “Safety II” approach in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit allows us to build on patient safety successes, and not just evaluate errors after they occur.
  • Population Health. Our Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families initiative, which focuses on social determinants of health by treating the hospital’s neighborhood as if it were a patient, has now helped improve or build more than 330 homes. Vacancy rates are down in our area, and high school graduation rates are up.
  • Behavioral Health. A study from our Center for Suicide Prevention and Research discovered that age strongly influences racial disparities in suicide rates, suggesting more targeted interventions.
  • Genomics. The Institute for Genomic Medicine has designed a “Cancer Protocol” allowing some patients with tumors that do not respond to treatment to receive genomic profiling, in an effort to identify alternative therapies.

These achievements and others are possible because of the collaborative, innovative culture at Nationwide Children’s. I have taken some time in the following pages to write about how our values shape us. I have announced that I will retire in 2019, and I believe these values will continue to sustain Nationwide Children’s in the future.

I have been privileged to lead this institution for the last 12 years, and I am proud, as always, to share our most recent accomplishments with you.


Chief Executive Officer
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

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