Fifth Third Foundation Donates $1 Million to Cincinnati Children’s

Gift Supports Medical Center’s Efforts to Reduce Preterm Birth

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cincinnati Children’s is proud to announce a $1 million gift from the Fifth Third Foundation to support the Center for the Prevention of Preterm Birth at the medical center. Overseen by Louis Muglia, MD, PhD, the center is on a mission to stop early births from occurring.

Every year in the United States, about one in eight infants is born too soon. “What’s really alarming is that in Greater Cincinnati, that number is even higher, with one in four babies born prematurely,” says Dr. Muglia. In fact, Ohio ranks 37th in infant mortality, and premature babies are at the highest risk of death.

“We’re doing better at taking care of very premature babies. Babies that didn’t survive 10 or 15 years ago now routinely survive,” Dr. Muglia says. “But they don’t survive without problems. And preventing their early births will help us to prevent a lot of those issues.”

Babies born too early are at risk not only for death, but also for many severe and lifelong medical disorders. However, due to our lack of understanding of how and why a woman’s body determines to go into labor, preventing preterm birth is an incredible challenge. The Center for the Prevention of Preterm Birth is approaching that central question from a variety of disciplines and areas, with the goal of finding specific ways to prevent early labor and birth.

Sing-Sing Way, MD, PhD, is a researcher at the center. “If we can improve infant’s health at the very earliest stages, we can prevent a lot of problems long term,” he states. “This is really a golden opportunity – some say a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to intervene on children’s health.”

The Fifth Third Foundation agreed with Dr. Way and took hold of this opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of their customers and communities. Heidi Jark, managing director of the foundation office at Fifth Third Bank, explains, “The Fifth Third Foundation focuses on providing funding that address health and human service issues in the markets where we do business. We have the highest level of confidence in the staff of Cincinnati Children’s to combat this issue and are pleased to provide this significant funding to ensure the health and vitality of our youngest community members.”

As a dedicated Greater Cincinnati community leader, Fifth Third Bank and the Fifth Third Foundation are committed to keeping our community healthy and vibrant. Partnering with Cincinnati Children’s gave Fifth Third and its foundation the best and most impactful way to make a tangible difference in Greater Cincinnati. Moreover, the bank and its foundation saw the potential for the center’s impact for moms and babies around the nation and the world.

“The $1 million gift from the Fifth Third Foundation will help us advance our work on all levels – from research to community outreach,” says Dr. Muglia. “It’s a significant contribution and we’re proud to have the Fifth Third Foundation as a partner in this work.”

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for cancer and in the top 10 for nine of 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

Contact Information

Terry Loftus,, 513-636-9682