Gov. DeWine signing the executive order to create an expert advisory committee aimed to ultimately help ensure at-risk families have the tools they need to give their children the best possible start in life. Submitted photo.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, and leaders from the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association (OCHA), on Jan. 15, 2019 announced the creation of an advisory committee aimed to ultimately help ensure at-risk families have the tools they need to give their children the best possible start in life.

The Governor’s Advisory Committee on Home Visitation, formed today, includes:

  • LeeAnne Cornyn, Director of Children’s Initiatives, Chair
  • Steve Allen, CEO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital (or designee)
  • Carrie Beier, Superintendent, Erie County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Patti DePompei, President, UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital (or designee)
  • Debbie Feldman, CEO, Dayton Children’s Hospital (or designee)
  • Michael Fisher, CEO, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (or designee)
  • Dr. Pat Gabbe, Founder, Moms2Be
  • Heather Gibson, REACH for Tomorrow
  • Paula Grieb, Associate CNO, Metro Regions & VP of Patient Experience, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital (or designee)
  • Kim Hauk, Chief Policy Officer, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
  • Alicia Leatherman, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Celebrate One
  • Sandy Oxley, Chief, Bureau of Maternal Child and Family Health, Ohio Department of Health
  • Judith Van Ginkel, President, Every Child Succeeds, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Grace Wakulchik, CEO, Akron Children’s Hospital (or designee)
  • Jane Whyde, Executive Director, Franklin County Family and Children First Council

This expert panel will be tasked with making formal recommendations about how to best increase the state’s investment in effective homes visitation programs. They will meet weekly over the next five to six weeks to inform the Executive State Budget, to be presented to the Ohio General Assembly in early 2019.

“Ohio’s children’s hospitals have a history of transformational leadership in healthcare – both here in Ohio and across the globe,” said Governor DeWine. “Their reputation for collaboration helps make them national leaders in children’s health. I have confidence that they will guide our administration to ensure we take swift, yet effective, steps to help children start their lives in the healthiest way possible.” 

Governor DeWine’s Opportunity for Every Ohio Kid initiative includes a provision to give first-time mothers the tools they need to promote maternal health, child health and development, and school readiness by tripling the number of families served through home-visiting programs. 

“Evidence-based home visiting services are voluntary programs that serve at-risk mothers and children up to age three in their own homes. Ohio’s programs are grossly underfunded, reaching less than four percent of eligible families. These programs can help reduce infant mortality and improve school-readiness so that parents have the skills they need to help their children be healthy, happy, and ready for kindergarten,” said Governor DeWine.

“We are honored to work with Governor DeWine and his Administration to develop recommendations to help reach his goal to triple home visitation rates in Ohio,” said Nick Lashutka, president & CEO, Ohio Children’s Hospital Association. “We have a long history of working with Governor DeWine to help make Ohio be a leader in children’s health – most recently by partnering to identify and prevent child abuse in Ohio’s infants with the OCHA TRAIN Collaborative through generous funding from the Office of the Attorney General. We’re excited about this new opportunity to work together with Governor DeWine to see his vision become reality.”