Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust and Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund Donate $2 Million to Cincinnati Children’s

Gifts Support the Medical Center’s Community Health Initiatives and Young Women Scholars Program

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cincinnati Children’s is proud to announce a $2 million combined gift from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund and the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust. Fifth Third Bank is the trustee of both funds.

Cincinnati Children’s will receive a $1.5 million gift from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust to support three community health initiatives aimed at helping the most vulnerable among us.

StartStrong, a collaborative effort between Cincinnati Children’s, TriHealth, Every Child Succeeds and other community and health organizations, will receive $500,000 of the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust gift to support its work reducing preterm birth in neighborhoods that are disproportionately affected by poor pregnancy outcomes and infant mortality. Launched in 2013 with a grant from Bethesda Inc., the overall aim of the initiative is to listen to women at risk for preterm birth and find out what they need so the current model of care can be improved by placing moms and babies at the center of a closely connected network of care. Based on that well-connected care, the initiative also intends to reduce inappropriate emergency department usage by ensuring mothers and their infants are connected to care providers.

“We need to learn from the women we serve so we can develop a system that works for them,” says Rob Kahn, MD, MPH, who leads several community health initiatives at Cincinnati Children’s. “I believe we can help women have healthy, full-term babies. This gift from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust is vital to helping us further expand this project.”

As StartStrong progresses, it will spread the most successful practices to other neighborhoods. To help further these efforts to reduce infant mortality, the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust is giving the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s a donation of $500,000 of the $1.5 million gift. StartStrong and Cincinnati Children’s partner with Cradle Cincinnati, a collective impact collaborative that includes, maternity hospitals, fellow healthcare providers, and the Hamilton County and City of Cincinnati health departments to support common goals for agencies serving pregnant women and new mothers about safe sleep, health care access and social support.

“For the first time, we have a countywide system focused on reduction of infant mortality,” says James Greenberg, MD, co-director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, “We will have uniform definitions, uniform data collection, uniform data reporting, and uniform metrics for measuring success. That means we’ll be able to provide better and better care at all healthcare points.” Cradle Cincinnati will be the key system for spreading best practices throughout the county.

True to the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust’s focus on helping vulnerable children, the remaining $500,000 from the grant will support the new Childhood Trauma Reduction Collaborative at Cincinnati Children’s. Housed with the Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children, this new initiative will identify, respond to and treat children suffering from what is known as “toxic stress.” Caused when children lack stable, protective and responsive adult relationships, toxic stress disrupts brain development, leading to poor behavioral, emotional and educational outcomes. The effects of untreated toxic stress can impact a child’s mental and physical health with lifelong consequences such as negative economic outcomes, unemployment, physical violence and crime.

“At the Mayerson Center, we see 2,000 cases of reported child abuse a year – that’s approximately six or seven kids a day. And many of these children lack any kind of a stable relationship,” states Robert Shapiro, MD, Director of the Child Abuse Team at the Mayerson Center. “This grant will enable us to provide care specifically targeted to these vulnerable children, helping them to heal and have healthier futures.”

“Jacob Schmidlapp was a loving and caring father. He would have been proud of this investment to help Cincinnati Children’s reduce infant mortality and establish the Childhood Trauma Reduction Collaborative,” Heidi Jark, Managing Director of the Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, pauses. “He was also a forward-thinking, philanthropic man who endeavored to make his community stronger. He would appreciate Cincinnati Children’s in that regard and look to partner with the hospital on these worthwhile initiatives.”

The Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust grant was not the only generous gift from the Schmidlapp family legacy - the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund made a $500,000 gift to create a new endowment for a summer undergraduate research program for women.

“Women are still vastly underrepresented in the sciences,” says Sandra Degen, PhD, Associate Chair for Academic Affairs at Cincinnati Children’s. “By adding a Young Women Scholars component for undergrads, we can provide opportunities for young women to take an active part in research here and connect them with mentors can help guide them throughout their careers. Ultimately, we believe this program will help young women enter into and stay in the sciences as a career choice.”

Heidi Jark is excited to see the Young Women Scholars Program endowment come to life. “Founded in 1908, the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund was the first Fund established solely to meet the needs of women and girls. As Trustee of the Fund, Fifth Third is proud of the impact the program has had on the individual women and how the impact is made manifest through their contributions to the medical field. It’s a great honor to be able to expand the endowment for the Young Women Scholars Program at Cincinnati Children’s.”

Thanks to both the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust and the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Cincinnati Children’s will be able to create a brighter future for young women and children here in the Greater Cincinnati area.

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