In the summer of 2011, Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced plans to provide $2 million to Ohio’s children’s hospitals to fund two important research projects.

Gov. Kasich followed through on that pledge during a press conference held March 27, 2012. The state will provide $1 million for childhood asthma research and $1 million for research on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), more commonly known as drug-addicted babies.

Six hospitals will participate in the research – Cincinnati Children’s, Nationwide Children’s,  Akron Children’s, ProMedica Toledo Children’s, Dayton Children’s and Cleveland’s Rainbow Babies & Children’s hospitals.

Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Asthma Research at Cincinnati Children's will lead the asthma work.

Ohio’s children’s hospitals will build a data warehouse to link clinical, demographic, and other health outcomes data with biological markers for children with asthma.  The data will be used to compare and determine effective strategies for treating acute asthma.

Michele Walsh, MD, MScEpi, chief of the Division of Neonatology at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital will lead the NAS work.

Ohio’s children’s hospitals will analyze hospital data to measure the types of drug exposures and co-exposures in babies in Ohio.  Preliminary research suggests that in 2011 alone, 606 babies were born with NAS and treated in Ohio. The project plans to track 13 common drugs of abuse and will share information about best treatment practices.

Watch a video of the news conference in Columbus.