Judith VanGinkel, PhD, has been named a Great Living Cincinnatian by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
She joins the 2018 class along with Robert Kohlhepp, Dr. Chester Pryor II, and John Steele Sr.
VanGinkel, president of Every Child Succeeds, grew up in West Virginia, where her father, a pediatrician, took her along on house calls. The experience ignited her lifelong passion for improving the health of children and their families and culminated in her current role leading Every Child Succeeds, an evidence-based home visitation program designed to ensure an optimal start for high risk children, ages 0-3.
Her prior leadership roles include chairing three successful health service levy campaigns, assuring that uninsured adults and children in Hamilton County had access to medical care, regardless of ability to pay. As vice president of the Drake Center, she led successful efforts to restore its viability as a community resource. And as assistant senior vice president of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, she obtained funding to launch BIOSTART, a biomedical incubator that fostered development of technology based products and services for medical research and patient care.
At age 60, VanGinkel became the founding president of Every Child Succeeds, which in its first 18 years has provided 600,000 home visits and served more than 25,000 families. Based at Cincinnati Children’s and launched with co-founding partners United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency, Every Child Succeeds has gained national attention for its academic research partnerships, innovation and results.
In recognition of her leadership of Every Child Succeeds, VanGinkel received the prestigious Purpose Prize in 2010. This national award honors social innovators, age 60 or older, who tackle challenging social issues in their encore careers. VanGinkel donated the $100,000 prize to Every Child Succeeds.
In her 37-year career, she chaired the boards of WGUC – Classical Public Radio and Hoxworth Blood Center, where she was the first female president of a blood bank community advisory board in the country. She also was the first female board chair of the Cincinnatus Association, and served on the boards of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, International Visitors Council, Thinkronize Inc., and three start-up enterprises.
Her greatest interest outside of work is international travel. VanGinkel has visited more than 200 countries, has written extensively about her travels and has won national awards for her travel writing. In 2007, VanGinkel co-authored “Life Begins and Ends with Girlfriends,” a book that explores the significant role women’s friendships play in their lives.
VanGinkel lives in Wyoming with her husband, David, a pediatrician. She has two daughters and two granddaughters.
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