Largest gift in University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s history
On Thanksgiving Day in 1887, a group of Cleveland women formed the “Circle of Kings Daughters” to raise funds to provide a healthy place for children to recover from illness. Nearly 132 years later, the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation, as it is known today, continues this tradition.
To begin this season of giving, the Rainbow Foundation made a generous gift of $34.5 million – the largest gift in UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and the Rainbow Foundation’s histories – to help ensure all children throughout Northeast Ohio have continued access to the highest quality health care close to home.
“From large galas and Circle of Friends community fundraising events to lemonade stands and Children’s Miracle Network campaigns, the Rainbow Foundation has raised, stewarded and safeguarded individual, corporate and foundation gifts from across the region in support of our community’s children,” said Terri A. Kennedy, President, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation. “Thousands of volunteers have given their time over our 132 year history to raise support and champion the care provided by UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and we are honored to utilize these vital resources to improve the health of our community.”
“As we look to the future, access to primary and specialty care is a baseline for healthy growth and development for our region’s children,” said Patti DePompei, RN, MSN, President, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and UH MacDonald Women’s hospitals. “We have been expanding Rainbow access points in these areas over the past several years, and this tremendous gift from the Rainbow Foundation will propel us forward at a more rapid rate. The funding for research and advocacy will open doors for treatments we’ve just begun to explore.”
The Rainbow Foundation’s gift will also encourage recruitment of top specialists, support advocacy and education on topics from lead paint remediation to mental and behavioral health services, and advance research for new therapies to treat our patients at every stage, from newborn to young adulthood. UH Rainbow currently offers the most expansive pediatric care network in the area, with more than 130 service locations in nine counties, accommodating more than 750,000 patient encounters and growing each year.
“In addition to direct patient care, UH Rainbow is working to eliminate health disparities across Northeast Ohio by proactively addressing social determinants of health,” said
Ms. DePompei. “The Rainbow Foundation has been a ready partner, particularly with the opening of the UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children in MidTown, allowing us to serve more families in our community than ever before and offer services beyond traditional medical care.”
A portion of this gift established the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation Chair in Leadership and Innovation, with Ms. DePompei as the inaugural recipient. “The Rainbow Foundation wanted to mark a milestone in Patti’s 30-year career with a meaningful gift to University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s. Her vision as a leader and community champion ties back to the hospital’s roots of caring for all children and their families. We can’t wait to see what’s next,” added Ms. Kennedy.
Over the past 18 months, UH Rainbow has attracted top talent from across the country, beginning with Marlene Miller, MD, MSc who was appointed Pediatrician-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Miller came to UH Rainbow from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore where she served as pediatrics chief quality officer.
In her short tenure, Dr. Miller has recruited national leaders, deepening the expertise at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s. This summer, UH Rainbow welcomed Michael Glotzbecker, MD, from Boston Children’s as Division Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery; Charles Macias, MD, MPH, from Texas Children’s to serve as both Division Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Vice Chair of Quality and Safety/Chief Quality Officer; and Christina Nguyen, MD, from Pittsburgh Children’s who assumed the role of Division Chief, Pediatric Nephrology. Next month Cynthia Bearer, MD, PhD, from University of Maryland and Editor-in-Chief of peer-review journal Pediatric Research
, will join as Division Chief of Neonatology.
Dozens of specialists have relocated to Northeast Ohio to join the region’s largest provider of pediatric health care. In addition, the physicians of two prominent practices – Green Road Pediatrics and Kids First Pediatrics – chose to be a part of the UH Rainbow family because of the seamless access to quality specialty care for the more than 20,000 children they see annually.
“We are honored to receive this extremely generous gift from the Rainbow Foundation,” said Thomas F. Zenty III, UH Chief Executive Officer. “This landmark gift, which will extend Rainbow’s breadth and depth across northern Ohio and greatly benefit our region’s children, is a testament to Rainbow’s expertise and bench strength as a national leader in pediatric care.”
UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s has been recognized as one of the Best Children’s Hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 29 consecutive years and was ranked in eight pediatric specialties in 2018 - 2019, including: Neonatology, Orthopedics, Pulmonology, Cancer, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nephrology and Urology. The hospital is also designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet hospital, the highest honor an organization can receive for excellence in professional nursing practice.