In 2015, the hospital celebrated its 65th anniversary with a new name, thanks to a generous pledge from golf icon Jack Nicklaus, his wife Barbara, and the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation they established in 2004. In the years to follow, the health system, the research institute and our hospital foundation all assumed the Nicklaus name.
Today and every day, Nicklaus Children's is honored to benefit from the generosity of these remarkable philanthropists who share in our mission to inspire hope and promote lifelong health by providing the best care to every child.
"We are proud and incredibly humbled by the decision to place our family name on the hospital. To us, there is no higher calling than to help children in need of medical care, hope and healing."
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus
Jack and Barbara are lifelong supporters and champions for the wellbeing of children everywhere. They had a scare of their own when their 11-month-old daughter, Nan, was struggling to breathe and suffered from repeated choking episodes. They took Nan to Columbus Children’s Hospital—now Nationwide Children’s—and doctors, using an adult bronchoscope, discovered that Nan had inhaled a blue crayon. The crayon eventually broke into pieces, fell in her lung, and led to pneumonia. Mom and Dad endured anxiety-filled days until doctors and nurses essentially saved Nan’s life. This story had a happy ending, but the emotional impact of these moments has never been forgotten, and it immediately began to shape the Nicklaus family’s future.
“It was then that we pledged to each other that if we were ever in a position to help others, we wanted to help children.” Jack and Barbara Nicklaus said. “It is said there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. So early in our lives, we wanted to extend that hand to lift up children.”