Partnerships and investments in Avondale

In 1883, three women wanted to make their community better for children. They rented a three-bedroom house in Walnut Hills and opened its doors as Cincinnati’s first pediatric hospital. 

A lot has changed in 135 years. We’ve grown into a multi-campus medical center serving kids all over Cincinnati, across the country and around the world. 

But one thing hasn’t changed—our drive to make our community healthier for kids. It’s at the center of everything we do — including the planning, design and construction of our new Critical Care Building (CCB).

Building Community

Jim Greenberg, MD, co-director of our Perinatal Institute, smiles when he talks about saving babies. It’s been his career for over 25 years.

Dr. Greenberg’s work has helped bring down the alarming rates of preterm birth and infant mortality in Hamilton County — and has been incredibly successful. This work solidified his devotion to working within the community, and is one of the reasons he decided to become the physician executive lead for the CCB.

“There are two big things we’re focused on,” Dr. Greenberg says. “Optimizing patient care and ensuring we partnered with our neighbors in every feasible way. I wanted to be sure our commitment to our community was a part of this project from day one.”

True to Dr. Greenberg’s mission, working within the Avondale community has been a central part of the planning and construction of the CCB. Our leadership meets with the Community Advisory Council monthly to review and discuss operations, construction scheduling and any issues the community needs to raise.

The council is a diverse group of people who live and work in Avondale, including leaders from the Avondale Community Council, Rockdale Academy, Ronald McDonald House, clergy and other prominent community stakeholders.

Another key component of planning the CCB was ensuring diversity and local inclusion in our business partners and workforce. “We’re working with Uptown Workforce, recruiting people from Avondale interested in construction,” says Dr. Greenberg. “We’re not just a building in Avondale — we all work here and many of our employees live in this neighborhood. We want our neighbors to thrive, and we’re working with them to make that happen.”

Being a Good Neighbor

Being community-focused is deeply rooted in our history. In fact, helping the kids of Cincinnati become the healthiest in the nation through strong community partnerships is one of the pillars of our 2020 strategic plan.

“What people may not realize is that a lot of the work we do takes place outside the hospital,” Dr. Greenberg says. “We’re out in the neighborhood, working directly with partners to help families succeed, to keep children healthy.”

We start by working side-by-side with social service agencies, health clinics, job training efforts, other nonprofits, schools and more to tackle problems like hunger, literacy, poor housing and infant mortality.

“We’ve always been a hospital for the community,” Dr. Greenberg says. “The CCB is an extension of that. While this expansion is necessary to meet the needs of every family relying on us, it’s also designed to be an asset to the neighborhood—this new space will bring us closer together.”