Children's Health

National City Bank Provides $250,000 Endowment for Infant Development and Nutrition

National City Bank has committed a $250,000 endowment gift to the Gerber Center for Infant Development and Nutrition at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Programs at the Gerber Center address the follow-up care of infants from birth to age three with nutrition, growth and developmental challenges. The gift will be presented on Monday, October 15 at the annual Gerber Lecture.

“National City is proud to endow the Gerber Center for Infant Development and Nutrition,” said Sean Welsh, regional president, National City Bank. “The services provided by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to our communities enhance the quality of early child development and nutrition. We believe they are critical for the future success of our community. The program is instrumental in assuring that these especially vulnerable children have access to quality care to help them maximize their development.”

Funds from the five-year commitment will be used for program development. Four distinct clinics comprise the Gerber Center:

  • Infant Progress – Provides screening services and resources for children who were previously cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and who meet specific criteria that place them at risk for developmental delay.
  • Feeding – Provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of children with feeding problems on an inpatient and outpatient basis.
  • Neurodevelopmental – Assess the needs of children with suspected neurodevelopmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, and identify interventions to improve quality of life and optimize functioning.
  • Multidisciplinary Developmental – Provides care for children with developmental issues who are also experiencing significant medical problems and are at risk for significant developmental delays. Children seen in this clinic may include those with cerebral palsy, genetic syndromes, metabolic diseases or a history of neonatal risk factors.

“Endowment gifts are essential to help grow and sustain Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital,” said Bob Connors, M.D., president, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “As we work toward our vision – to be among the nation’s leading comprehensive children’s hospitals – philanthropy will enable us to become a destination for health care excellence for children from West Michigan and beyond.”

Following recognition of National City Bank, guest lecturer James Collins, M.D., neonatologist, Children’s Memorial Hospital at Northwestern University will speak about infant mortality. A panel discussion about infant mortality will follow. Panelists include Senator Bill Hardiman, Barbara J. Bradley, M.D., Peggy VanderMeulen and Hasina Bankston. Collins will also speak on Tuesday, October 16 at 8 a.m. at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Grand Rounds. New insights into the racial disparity in birth outcomes will be shared.

“We are very grateful for National City’s commitment to children in our community,” said Wendy Burdo-Hartman, M.D., Gerber Endowed Chair, Gerber Center for Infant Development and Nutrition at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “Generosity is what started the Gerber Center and with this gift, our center can continue providing care to some of the most medically needy children.”

Media are invited to attend the National City Bank endowment presentation, both of Collins’ lectures and the panel discussion. The endowment presentation will be at The Eberhard Center located at 301 West Fulton in Grand Rapids. The endowment presentation begins at 7 p.m. Grand Rounds will occur at 100 Michigan N.E. beginning at 8 a.m. Please wait in the Meijer Heart Center lobby for an escort.

National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the nation’s largest financial holding companies. The company operates through an extensive banking network primarily in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its core businesses include commercial and retail banking, mortgage financing and servicing, consumer finance and asset management. For more information about National City, visit the company’s Web site at

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is West Michigan’s largest children’s hospital, serving children and families throughout a 37-county region. A teaching hospital, it includes more than 150 pediatric subspecialty physicians uniquely skilled in providing medical and surgical care to children in more than 40 pediatric specialties. The hospital cares for more than 7,500 inpatients and 150,000 outpatients annually. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is committed to caring for children and families with compassion, excellence and innovation.