October 02, 2017

College of Nursing receives major gift to establish new endowed professorship for child and adolescent health

A newly established endowed professorship at The Ohio State University College of Nursing will help improve the health outcomes of one of today’s most at-risk populations – children and adolescents.

Through a generous $1 million gift from FloAnn and John Easton, The FloAnn Sours Easton Professorship of Child and Adolescent Health will support the recruitment of a nationally recognized expert in pediatric nursing. This endowed professorship will provide resources to fund a distinguished faculty member's research and enable the professor to pursue rigorous intervention research to improve the health of children and adolescents. This position also will serve a leadership role within the college’s Center for Women, Children and Youth.

“Through this generous gift, our college can attract a nationally esteemed scholar whose cutting-edge work will serve to make a significant impact on the health and wellness of our nation’s greatest resource – our children,” said Dean Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion and university chief wellness officer. “Furthermore, this individual will serve as a mentor to our faculty and students, and will further strengthen the strong community partnerships the college has with various healthcare networks. We are so thankful for FloAnn and John’s very generous support.”

Children and teens today face a multitude of health problems, making it the first time in history that children are predicted to lead a shorter lifespan than their parents. Approximately 500,000 babies are born prematurely every year, resulting in longterm, adverse health and behavioral outcomes. Overweight and obesity—commonly associated with diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular problems—are significant health problems that now affect approximately one-third of all children and teens. Additionally, mental health problems affect one in four children, yet less than 25 percent receive any treatment. The increasing prevalence of multiple chronic conditions in children and teens is also significant, especially among minorities and those living in poverty.

A strong base of intervention research is needed, yet funding for pediatric research has been limited compared to investments in adult and older adult conditions. The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) funding of pediatric studies recently declined to 11.3 percent of its total expenditures even though children represent 20 percent of the United States population. As a result, a recent report by the Institute of Medicine calls for more research with children and youth. The FloAnn Sours Easton Professorship of Child and Adolescent Health will support such research and help the college’s Center for Women, Children and Youth make a lasting difference in the care and health outcomes of today’s young people.

FloAnn Easton is a 1962 graduate of the College of Nursing, and both FloAnn and John serve as volunteers on the College of Nursing’s But For Ohio State capital campaign committee. As a campaign priority, this gift to support an endowed professorship will be the first of its kind for the But For Ohio State campaign within the College of Nursing.

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