Now Reading
$50 million gift from Wolfe family helps massive Wexner Medical Center tower become reality
Dark Light

$50 million gift from Wolfe family helps massive Wexner Medical Center tower become reality

The Robert F. Wolfe and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation has made a $50 million commitment to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s new hospital tower, set to open in 2026. This is among the largest gifts ever made to the medical center.

In recognition, the inpatient tower will have two named spaces: the John F. Wolfe Lobby and the Wolfe Foundation Crossroads, pending approval by the university’s board of trustees at its February meeting.

New hospital towerJohn F. Wolfe was well known as the publisher of The Columbus Dispatch and served as chair and CEO of The Dispatch Printing Company. Beyond his professional contributions, John F. Wolfe had a deep spirit of altruism that came from the generations before him and continues in his family today. As a civic leader, he made an impact on projects across the city to help Columbus realize its potential.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had many opportunities to work with John F. Wolfe over about 30 years of their careers. He reflected on the understated way the Wolfe family has influenced progress in the community.

“Few people know, or will ever know, even half of the good works John F. Wolfe and Ann Wolfe put their shoulders behind to benefit Columbus and central Ohio. They preferred to be a quiet force for good with lasting impact,” DeWine said. “I think John F. Wolfe would be delighted about his family’s continued efforts to improve the quality of life in central Ohio, and health care is vital to quality of life.”

John F. Wolfe spent much of his time and resources stewarding the vision and growth of The Ohio State University and its health care system through 20-plus years of service on various boards. His widow, Ann Wolfe, has a long tradition of championing health care institutions, including serving as a member of the University Hospitals Board and as the longtime chair of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation Board.

The Wolfe family’s legacy of service and generosity can be found across many Columbus institutions, including COSI, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Scioto Mile and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. At Ohio State, the Wolfe family has supported many initiatives including cancer research, veterinary medicine, athletic facilities, scholarships and eight endowed chairs and professorships.

“This is a special day for our university, our region and our state,” said The Ohio State University President Walter “Ted” Carter Jr. “John F. Wolfe’s family and the Wolfe Foundation are building on his lifelong commitment to creating a bright future for the Columbus community. We are grateful for their remarkable investment in the inpatient tower and our medical center. It will enable us to continue serving Ohioans and providing expert care to patients and families that is at the forefront of medicine.”

At 1.9 million square feet and 24 floors, the inpatient tower is 75% complete. It is the single largest facilities project undertaken at Ohio State. The hospital is designed for flexible and team-based care that centers around the patient and their family. Its interdisciplinary focus will allow for collaborative teaching, research and clinical trials throughout the building. With up to 820 private rooms and 51 neonatal intensive care beds, it will add much-needed capacity to care for our growing community. According to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, central Ohio is expected to add nearly one million people in the next 20-25 years.

“Patients and families are at the center of everything we do at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, and our new inpatient tower will further ensure that we are able to provide the very best care for everyone, every time,” said John J. Warner, MD, CEO of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and executive vice president at Ohio State. “Through this transformational gift honoring John F. Wolfe, the Wolfe family and the Wolfe Foundation remain steadfast in their commitment to improving people’s lives within our community. John F. Wolfe’s legacy as a community leader and philanthropist is still helping to shape the skyline of Columbus, and we are honored that our vision for the future of the Wexner Medical Center aligns with what he and others envisioned for the future of central Ohio and the entire state.”

John F. Wolfe also supported Ohio State’s goal to create a nationally renowned academic medical center. He was instrumental in the construction of the original James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, which opened in 1990 and has steadily grown ever since. When the inpatient tower opens, The James will gain 148 beds and become the second-largest cancer hospital in the country.

Philanthropic commitments such as this gift from the Wolfe Foundation play a critical role in speeding progress toward new treatments and teaching opportunities for future generations.

“John F. and the Wolfe family have been the catalyst for many of Ohio State’s accomplishments over the course of multiple decades,” said Andrew Thomas, MD, who was honored as the inaugural Wolfe Foundation Chief Clinical Officer in 2021. “It is inspiring to see how Ann, her family and the Wolfe Foundation have continued to carry on John F.’s legacy, with this leadership commitment to the inpatient tower.”

© 2024 Lifestyles Magazine International. All Rights Reserved.