08:49 AM

$10 million gift to establish Center for Brain Health and Performance at Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Back in 1969, Stan Ross made his first gift to Ohio State University. It was $10. Through the years, he and his wife, Joan “Jodi” Ross, have been longtime supporters of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, culminating in a multimillion gift to advance research across the entire spectrum of brain health at Ohio State’s Neurological Institute.

Pending approval of the university’s Board of Trustees at its June 5 meeting, their $10 million pledge will establish the Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Center for Brain Health and Performance.

“We are deeply grateful to Stan and Jodi for this gift that will improve countless lives in Ohio and beyond,” said Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake. “This center will leverage the university’s power to become a leading authority on building and preserving brain health and performance.

Jodi and Stan Ross

The gift will provide sustaining support for the leadership of the center and for life-changing research and education about brain health and performance, as well as start-up support for the delivery of clinical services and dedicated space for the center.

“We are now on the threshold of rapid advances in diagnostics and therapies for neurologic disorders. The extraordinarily generous gift from Stan and Jodi Ross will help support further innovations in this critical area of discovery,” said Dr. Sheldon Retchin, executive vice president of Ohio State’s health sciences and chief executive officer of the Wexner Medical Center.

The Rosses started supporting Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center after their teenage son, Malcolm, broke his neck while racing a car at the Indianapolis Raceway in 1993. Malcolm was transferred to Ohio State’s Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Hospital, where he recovered from his injuries. The Rosses also have endowed the Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Chair in Neuromodulation, currently held by neurosurgeon Dr. Ali Rezai, who has spearheaded the concept of a center dedicated to population brain health at Ohio State.

“The concept of brain health is far reaching and not limited to those afflicted with neurological disorders. Optimizing our brain health and function is important throughout our lives, from youth to advanced age. This innovative center will use research and neuroscience to regain, retain, and optimize brain health and performance for people of all ages. We are grateful to Stan and Jodi Ross for their partnership and commitment that will make our vision into a reality,” Rezai said.

The Center for Brain Health and Performance will complement the new Brain and Spine Hospital, scheduled to open in 2016 to meet the growing need for services for patients with neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke and many others. The Brain and Spine Hospital, located in the former James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, will provide advanced clinical services and innovative research to improve the diagnosis, treatment and cure of neurological diseases. More than 50 million people in the United States and more than a billion worldwide are affected by disorders of the brain, spine and the nervous system. The number of people challenged by neurological disorders is increasing due to the aging population, longer life expectancies and the rising incidence of chronic diseases.

The Rosses are hopeful their gift will help Ohio State become a significant world leader in brain health and performance.

“The brain is the last frontier in medicine, and we’re just at the beginning of discovering what can be done to optimize the brain, and help millions of people who are affected by the panoply of neurological disorders and brain injuries,” said Stan Ross, a retired attorney living in the Columbus area. “We see our gift as an opportunity to help a lot of people for many generations to come.”