Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah from Pexels

By Margaret Clark

Senior Program Director

Every Child Succeeds

Jennifer Frey. Photo provided

Every Child Succeeds has been helping new parents throughout Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky create nurturing, healthy home environments for 21 years. Now, its founding president, Judith Van Ginkel, Ph.D., is retiring — and passing the baton to the organization’s new president, Jennifer Frey, Ph.D., BCBA-D, an accomplished researcher, clinician and educator.

Frey, a Cincinnati native, joins Every Child Succeeds after eight years on the faculty at The George Washington University (GW) in Washington, D.C., where she currently is a tenured associate professor in special education and disability studies and director of the early intervention and early childhood special education graduate program in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

In addition to a variety of teaching and leadership roles at GW, she also recently spent a year on research sabbatical at Cincinnati Children’s as a visiting professor in neurology. Every Child Succeeds’ board members voted unanimously to approve Frey’s appointment at their meeting last week. Her first day is November 9.

Under Van Ginkel’s leadership, Every Child Succeeds has provided more than 675,000 home visits and served more than 27,450 families. Her focus on outcomes-driven decision-making, creation of robust public-private partnerships and commitment to innovative approaches for engaging the community have been truly groundbreaking and attracted national attention for Every Child Succeeds. During her time leading ECS, Van Ginkel was recognized with many prestigious awards, including the national Purpose Prize, YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, Enquirer Woman of the Year and Great Living Cincinnatian.

Judith Van Ginkel. Photo provided

“There is always some sadness associated with endings but also an eagerness to find out what comes next,” says Van Ginkel, who has been a champion for women’s and children’s health throughout her distinguished career. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished together at Every Child Succeeds — saying thank you to our talented staff and volunteers doesn’t seem adequate.”

The organization welcomes its new president at a challenging time, as home visits have transitioned to virtual platforms due to COVID-19 concerns.  

“Providing parents and their children with support is more critical than ever as the pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on at-risk families,” said Jim Spurlino, Every Child Succeeds board president. “Jennifer’s unique training and experience make her well-suited to build on our strong foundation and lead the organization into the future. Under her leadership, Every Child Succeeds will continue to find creative, evidence-based strategies to help families thrive.”

Every Child Succeeds is nationally recognized for its evidence-based home visiting program. The organization was founded in 1999 by Cincinnati Children’s, Cincinnati/Hamilton County Community Action Agency and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati in response to brain research showing that the first three years of life are more important than all that follow. The program targets low-income pregnant women and new mothers to ensure an optimal start for our community’s youngest, most at- risk children, ages 0 to 3.

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