John Ackerman, PhD, is a child clinical psychologist and the Suicide Prevention Clinical Manager for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research (CSPR) at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The CSPR helps schools and community organizations in Ohio implement evidence-based prevention strategies. Dr. Ackerman and his team have provided training to many schools throughout central and southeastern Ohio using an enhanced Signs of Suicide (SOS) prevention programming model with a focus on fidelity and long-term sustainability. Dr. Ackerman also supports clinical training of psychologists, social workers, and counselors at Nationwide Children's. He serves on the Zero Suicide Implementation team and is involved in training on suicide screening and risk assessment in primary care and community settings.

Steve Allen, MD, is CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a position he has held since 2006. Nationwide Children’s treats children from around the world as an elite, destination, pediatric teaching hospital and research institution. He leads an organization that has defined a new model for delivering state of the art care and generating new cures in an environment of unsurpassed quality. Nationwide Children’s shares its knowledge by teaching the next generation of providers and developing innovative community outreach programs to address critical healthcare needs. All this is firmly wrapped in the hospital’s 130-year mission to provide every child with the finest medical care regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

Dr. Allen is gratified to lead such a purpose-driven organization. Nationwide Children’s success is fueled by an environment of continuous improvement. He derives remarkable insights from asking all levels of staff and families for their ideas on how the organization can do even better. While there are successful healthcare executives who come from a broad background, his perspective gained from the practice of medicine not only influences how he prioritizes the work, but also how he leads.

His passion for population health and wellness drives participation in legislative advocacy at the state and national level. This focus is critical to advancing children’s healthcare. Dr. Allen was appointed Chair of the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) 2016 Board of Trustees.

Carlos E. Alvarez, PhD, is a principal investigator in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. His lab's biomedical research program is focused on two areas: dog and human genetics, and signal transduction. His studies have been funded by National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Canine Health Foundation and Morris Animal Foundation.