UC Neuroscience Institute Named in Honor of Gardner Family

The University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute, a leading treatment, research and teaching center for complex neurological and psychiatric conditions, becomes the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute, effective today. The new name honors the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Foundation for its tremendous financial support of the institute.

The UC Health Foundation Board of Trustees approved the action last month. The UC Board of Trustees voted its consent at a meeting today.

“The Gardner Family Foundation has been a vital partner for the institute over the years, and we are incredibly grateful for its generosity and commitment to our mission,” said Joseph Broderick, MD, director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute. “It is a fitting tribute to the Gardner family for the amazing support they have shown our physicians, researchers, patients, faculty, staff and students.”

James and Joan Gardner

Since 1994, the Gardner Family Foundation has contributed more than $20 million to the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute. Most recently, it pledged $14 million to help fund a new, state-of-the-art facility to enhance treatment and research efforts for chronic and progressive neurologic conditions and disorders. The facility will be built and operated by UC Health. The gift helped kick off a $54.5 million fundraising campaign for the institute, which aims to create the new facility, enhance research and patient care efforts, aid in recruitment and retention, and expand programming.

“The Gardner Family Foundation provided funding for the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute’s new headquarters at just the right time,” said Richard Lofgren, MD, President and CEO of UC Health. “The Foundation’s generous gift allowed us to move forward with a facility that is patient-focused, research-driven and powered by the latest medical technology. I am proud we are able to recognize the family through the naming of the institute.”

In 2007, the Gardner Family Foundation gave $5.5 million to create the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, one of 11 centers of excellence at the institute. The gift was inspired by the late James Gardner’s wife, Joan, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

Peggy Gardner Johns, daughter of James and Joan Gardner, said, “I’ll never forget the day my father announced: ‘I want to eradicate this disease.’ We grew up with an expectation of duty and service to our community. That sense of responsibility becomes truly exciting when experience and passion come together around a problem that begs us, personally, to help find a solution.”

Gary Johns, Chairman of the Gardner Family Foundation and son-in-law of the Gardners, said the family saw the possibility for a philanthropic commitment that could lead to even broader-based impact in neuroscience care in Cincinnati. “We are closer than ever to this idea of having the most advanced research, combined with the best patient care, here in Cincinnati.”

“The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute shows what can be achieved when an academic health system with excellent research and clinical care capabilities earns the generous support of a committed benefactor,” said William Ball, MD, senior vice president for health affairs, Christian R. Holmes Professor and Dean of the UC College of Medicine. “Funding like this facilitates new advances, new discoveries and new hope for patients here at home and around the world.”

To date, more than $32 million has been raised through the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute’s major fundraising campaign – more than half of the stated fundraising goal.

“The Gardner family has been a true friend for those in our community with neurological disorders,” said UC Health Foundation CEO and UC Foundation President Rodney Grabowski. “Like so many benefactors, the family’s giving has been inspired by personal experience. I am so grateful that they turned their battle with Parkinson’s disease into gifts that will benefit thousands of lives now and for generations to come. They deserve our sincere thanks and appreciation for all they have done.”

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute is a partnership between the UC College of Medicine and UC Health. It includes more than 125 UC faculty members from 15 clinical specialties working collaboratively. The institute also runs more than 100 active clinical trials at any given time, and has received more than $120 million in grant funding over the past five years.

The new research and outpatient facility for people with neurologic and psychiatric diseases will be built as a complement to UC’s signature campus architecture. Centrally located on Piedmont Avenue, the main thoroughfare to the medical campus, it will be visible from Martin Luther King Drive.

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