As we gear up for the year ahead and the progress it inevitably holds, we pause to look back at the people and events that shaped the medical center and the future of pediatric healthcare at Cincinnati Children’s over the past year. We present, our top 12 of 2012, in no particular order:
1. Cincinnati Children’s Creates Center to Step Up Battle Against Preterm Birth
In January, the hospital established the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth led by Louis Muglia, MD, PhD, co-director of the Perinatal Institute. Dr. Muglia and his team are on a mission prevent early births from happening by uncovering the reasons why they do. Premature birth ranks as the leading cause of infant mortality in the US, and preterm birth rates in America exceed most other developed nations. Despite our improving technology, the actual cause goes unexplained in as many as half of all such births.
2. Green Township Outpatient Facility Nears Completion
The newest Cincinnati Children’s neighborhood location is taking shape in the heart of Cincinnati’s west side. Scheduled to open this spring, Cincinnati Children’s Green Township will offer pediatric care and specialized services including urgent care, radiology and imaging, therapy services, lab and testing services, and more than 20 specialty clinics.
3. Mission Accomplished: Neil Armstrong New Frontiers Initiative Launched
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who died in August at age 82, is a hero to many because of his historic Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. He will also be known for taking yet another giant leap for mankind right here on earth through a posthumous memorial fund established at Cincinnati Children’s – The Neil Armstrong New Frontiers Initiative. The formation of the fund cements his legacy of leadership, generosity and passion for exploration and will make him a hero to new generations of courageous physicians, researchers and young people from around the world who will benefit from it.
4. Cincinnati Children’s Ranked Among Nation’s Best by U.S. News & World Report
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranked third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 survey of best children’s hospitals. It is one of only 12 Honor Roll hospitals in the U.S.
5. Cincinnati Children’s Making Human Tissue to Test Life-Saving Drugs
In July, the hospital was awarded one of 17 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to develop human tissue chips that act like real organs, making it possible to test new drugs faster, more safely and more cost-effectively than current methods.
6. Video Helps Good Feelings Go Viral
Even on the days when a patient gets a depressing diagnosis or things seem to be going wrong, people at Cincinnati Children’s have a way of believing in the power of a smile to help make things OK. This is what happened when doctors, nurses, patients and staff from Cincinnati Children’s got together to put our own spin on rapper Flo Rida’s hit song “Good Feeling.” The viral video continues to garner positive attention – and YouTube hits — racking up over 57,000 views and counting.
7. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patient Gets a New Lease on Life
Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute patient Jason Williams was only expected to live another year. But a pioneering new surgery has changed the course of his life. The 29-year-old Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patient recently became the first person with DMD in North America to receive a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implant to help his heart pump blood to the body. Because 80 percent of boys and men with DMD ultimately die of heart failure, the implanted device could add years or even decades to the lives of these patients.
8. In Memoriam: William Kuenneth Schubert, MD 1926 – 2012
Dr. William Schubert will be remembered for his work as a physician, researcher and tireless advocate for children, and as one of the greatest leaders in the hospital’s history, according to Cincinnati Children’s president and CEO Michael Fisher. Dr. Schubert held nearly every major leadership position at the medical center during his nearly four decade tenure, including chief of staff, director of the pediatric residency program, chairman of Pediatrics, and in 1983, president and CEO. After he retired in 1996, he continued to serve on the board of trustees. Dr. Schubert established the Division of Gastroenterology in 1968 — only the second pediatric gastroenterology division in the U.S. During the 1970s, he led an effort to centralize the region’s pediatric care at a single medical center and in 1976, he championed an effort to expand the Hamilton County Indigent Care Tax Levy, which guaranteed access to quality care for children, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Under his leadership, the medical center built a new research building (1991), a new patient care tower – Location B (1993), became a Level 1 pediatric trauma center and opened its first neighborhood location in Mason (1987). Schubert’s emphasis on research attracted scientific experts who produced significant advances in endocrinology, infectious diseases, critical care, cardiology and genetics, shaping Cincinnati Children’s into the institution it is today.
9. Going Up: New Clinical Sciences Building at Burnet Campus
Cincinnati Children’s broke ground on a new 15-story clinical sciences building at the Burnet campus. When it opens in 2015 the building will add 425,000 sq. ft. to our research facilities, bringing our total research space to more than 1.4 million sq. ft. It will make Cincinnati Children’s the largest pediatric research facility in the country and provide a physical link between discoveries in the current research labs and how they are used to treat patients in the hospital and around the world.
10. Sprucing Up: Renovations are Friendly and Inviting
2012 saw several renovation projects around the medical center to create a friendlier environment for patients and families. Updates were made throughout the hospital, but most visibly, the cafeteria dining area and the Visitor Garage each got a facelift this year. The atmosphere in the newly renovated dining area of the Burnet Campus cafeteria is fresh and modern. It invites families and employees to relax and connect. The garage renovation features mosaics, designed through a child’s art campaign, that are the centerpiece of the elevator lobbies that invite families into the medical center.
11. Cincinnati Children’s Recognized for Patient Safety and Top Quality Care
Cincinnati Children’s was one of 12 hospitals awarded a place on Leapfrog’s Top Children’s Hospitals list. The Top Hospital designation, which is the most competitive national hospital quality award in the country, recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures and reducing hospital readmissions. While several agencies and organizations collect and publicize hospital quality data, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the toughest standard-bearer and provides the most complete picture of a hospital’s safety, quality and resource use performance.
12. This Blog’s For You
In August, Cincinnati Children’s blog got a complete makeover. From patient stories of hope and healing, to the latest healthcare news and details about new research and discoveries, there’s something here for you. Please keep reading in 2013, there will be more stories, helpful pediatric health information, scientific discoveries and news bytes to fill these pages in the coming year. We’re so glad you’re here reading. Please comment with feedback anytime, we really do listen and very much value your input.