Largest Donation Ever Made to Cincinnati Children’s to Help Kids in Crisis

Gift kicks off expansion project to improve mental health facilities and programs

Monday, February 24, 2020

With the need for mental health services increasing, Convalescent Hospital for Children is giving Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center a $36 million gift to improve mental health care for children and teens. This is the single largest contribution ever made to the medical center.

The $36 million gift will be used to help build a new state-of-the-art inpatient facility at the College Hill campus, where Cincinnati Children’s offers mental health and behavioral services to children and teens. It will also help expand much needed mental health programs.

“Mental illness is one of the most pressing health issues of our time,” said Michael Fisher, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children’s. “We are extremely grateful for this generous gift. With this, we will be better equipped to meet the growing mental health care needs of youth in our area and will continue our leadership in the field.”

Convalescent Hospital for Children was established in 1832 and now raises funds for several specialized mental health programs at Cincinnati Children’s.

“Since inception, the mission and focus of Convalescent Hospital for Children has been that all families with children struggling with long-term chronic illnesses and the challenges of mental health have access to the very best in medical care available. These children and their families have become our particular focus and passion because too often they have no place to turn for the understanding, help and support so desperately needed,” said Susan Shelton, president of Convalescent Hospital for Children.

Mental Health Care at Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s commitment to research and treatment of child and teen mental health goes back more than two decades. With 100 inpatient beds and an additional 30 specialized residential beds, Cincinnati Children’s is the largest inpatient mental health provider of any children’s hospital in the country. More than 4,000 inpatients were served in College Hill in 2019. As for outpatient visits, Cincinnati Children’s saw a huge increase in demand from 39,000 in 2015 to more than 76,000 in 2019.

The College Hill campus was purchased in 2000, and in 2002 Convalescent Hospital for Children helped Cincinnati Children’s establish a pediatric mental health facility there by opening two inpatient psychiatric units and two residential units. In 2014, a $20 million gift from Convalescent Hospital for Children created a dedicated residential facility on the College Hill campus.

“Convalescent Hospital for Children is especially proud to join the world-renowned Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to advance our collective efforts in acknowledging and addressing the growing tidal wave of mental health needs facing our children and their families,” said Shelton. “Our goal is to ensure that this region becomes and remains the model for the entire nation."

In addition to College Hill, Cincinnati Children’s provides mental health services at five other medical center locations and the Lindner Center of HOPE.

Expanding to Meet the Need

The construction of a new five-story facility at College Hill will make the majority of the rooms private and will create more therapeutic treatment spaces to tailor care and better meet the needs of patients. The project is scheduled to begin later this year.

The gift from Convalescent Hospital for Children is expected to fund one third of the estimated $90 million cost of the new building. Additional philanthropic support of $30 million will be sought from the community. Operating revenues will cover the remaining third of project costs.

The gift will also help expand mental health programs and services. Approximately $6 million will be dedicated to this effort.

About Convalescent Hospital for Children

Convalescent Hospital for Children was established to serve children with chronic conditions requiring long-term hospital care. Convalescent Hospital for Children closed its physical doors many years ago. Today it has a volunteer board that raises funds and provides financial support for several specialized programs and other services housed at Cincinnati Children's including:

  • The Pediatric Rehabilitation Program, which offers comprehensive rehabilitation services for children suffering from injury or illness that leaves them with physical and/or cognitive disabilities.
  • The Transitional Care Center, which helps children with complex chronic medical conditions make the transition from hospital to home and specializes in management of patients who have had a tracheotomy or are on a ventilator.
  • The Children’s Psychiatric Unit, which provides inpatient and partial hospitalization psychiatric services for children up to 12 years of age.
  • Adolescent and medical psychiatric services for teens ages 12-18 who need combined medical and psychiatric services.
  • Project SEARCH, which provides healthcare, education and support services to help young people with cognitive or physical disabilities find meaningful jobs and live more fulfilling lives.

Contact Information

Shannon Kettler
513-636-5218
shannon.kettler@cchmc.org