A photo of Judith B. Van Ginkel.

Judith B. Van Ginkel, PhD

  • President, Every Child Succeeds
  • Field Service Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



I am president of Every Child Succeeds (ECS), a regional prevention program based on the knowledge that early brain stimulation is critically important for a child's long-term development. ECS serves first-time, high-risk mothers during their prenatal period and follows them along with their child until the age of three. We provided home visiting services for more than 27,000 families (54,000 people with at least one baby and one mom) since our program's inception in 1999. We serve approximately 2,000 families annually. ECS has made 700,000 well-documented home visits over the last 20 years.

My research areas include early childhood development, the impact of effective parenting, the effects of toxicity in early childhood and brain development. The goal of my lab is to ensure a safe and healthy start for every child.

I became interested in research while growing up as the daughter of a pediatrician who made house calls and emphasized the importance of a sound foundation for children in the early developmental stages. I think it’s essential to focus on community cooperatives and the effect of social determinants on health. This idea is a critical adjunct to clinical services, recognizing that health for a child and a family requires both physical and behavioral interventions to foster the best outcomes for development.

Every day, I champion for women and children's health, and our programs and initiatives are supported by sound research. Our program is nationally recognized for excellence in program delivery, production of positive outcomes and a joint focus on sound research and outstanding service.

I have served on the board of a for-profit developer of internet search engines for schools and many community non-profit boards including:

  • Bio/Start
  • Child Health Statistics Center
  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
  • Cincinnatus Association (first female president in 70 years)
  • Greater Cincinnati Fine Arts Fund Cabinet
  • Hoxworth Blood Center (first female president in the country)
  • Junior League of Greater Cincinnati (advisory)
  • NetWellness Consumer Health Information Network
  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati
  • WGUC Classical Public Radio (chair)
  • Xavier University (President's Advisory Council)
  • Governor DeWine's Advisory Council for Quality in Home Visiting (co-chair)

I've been a researcher for more than 40 years and began my work at Cincinnati Children's in 1999. I am honored to have received the National Purpose Prize for recognition of impressive achievement in solving our most intractable social problems. I received the YWCA Career Woman of Achievement award, the Enquirer Woman of the Year award and the Girl Scouts of America Woman of Distinction award. Also, I was honored to receive the Great Living Cincinnatian award from the Chamber of Commerce (only four awarded annually).

PhD: Political Science / Public Administration, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1982.

MS: Healthcare Administration, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1978.

BS: Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1960.

Honors Program: Liberal Arts, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 1956-1958.


Promoting parenting in home visiting: A CACE analysis of Family Foundations. Ammerman, RT; Peugh, JL; Teeters, AR; Sakuma, KL K; Jones, DE; Hostetler, ML; Ginkel, JB V; Feinberg, ME. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2022; 36:225-235.

Pregnancy and Infant Development (PRIDE)-a preliminary observational study of maternal adversity and infant development. Bowers, K; Ding, L; Yolton, K; Ji, H; Nidey, N; Meyer, J; Ammerman, RT; Van Ginkel, J; Folger, A. BMC Pediatrics. 2021; 21:452.

Combinations of adverse childhood events and risk of postpartum depression among mothers enrolled in a home visiting program. Nidey, N; Bowers, K; Ammerman, RT; Shah, AN; Phelan, KJ; Clark, MJ; Van Ginkel, JB; Folger, AT. Annals of Epidemiology. 2020; 52:26-34.

Associations Between Maternal Community Deprivation and Infant DNA Methylation of the SLC6A4 Gene. DeLano, K; Folger, AT; Ding, L; Ji, H; Yolton, K; Ammerman, RT; Van Ginkel, JB; Bowers, KA. Frontiers in Public Health. 2020; 8:557195.

Adherence to Well-Child Care and Home Visiting Enrollment Associated with Increased Emergency Department Utilization. Goyal, NK; Brown, CM; Folger, AT; Hall, ES; Van Ginkel, JB; Ammerman, RT. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2020; 24:73-81.

Interpersonal trauma and suicide attempts in low-income depressed mothers in home visiting. Ammerman, RT; Scheiber, FA; Peugh, JL; Messer, EP; Van Ginkel, JB; Putnam, FW. Child Abuse and Neglect. 2019; 97:104126.

Intergenerational effects of maternal early life adversity on infant DNA methylation of NR3C1. Bowers, K; Ji, H; Ding, L; Ammerman, R; Van Ginkel, J; Yolton, K; Folger, AT. Annals of Epidemiology. 2019; 28:656.

From the Blog

Van Ginkel named Great Living Cincinnatian
Community Health

Van Ginkel named Great Living Cincinnatian

Judith B. Van Ginkel, PhD7/1/2019