This article was featured in the Cincinnati Children’s magazine.
Creating Your Legacy
As a mother and community member, Stephanie Janssen is committed to improving the mental health of our youth.
A Legacy of Caring
Even a decade later, a drive past Cincinnati Children’s can make Stephanie Janssen tear up. We were there for her family during some of their darkest days—a glimmer of light in the darkness, a source of hope.
Stephanie and her husband had just moved back to Cincinnati from Omaha with their three kids. And on top of that upheaval, they were also navigating the uncharted waters of pediatric mental healthcare. Uprooting her family and moving back to more familiar territory during such a tumultuous time in their lives was hard, but Cincinnati Children’s brought hope.
“My son started having trouble when we still lived out of state,” Stephanie remembers.
The care Stephanie’s son received in Omaha did more harm than good. As an 11-year-old in the hospital there, he was around much older kids dealing with extremely scary, even criminal, situations. He was afraid and in an environment that certainly wasn’t promoting improved mental health. But the day they got to Cincinnati Children’s, everything began taking a positive turn.
“The care we got here was just incredible,” Stephanie says. “We always felt like we had a place to land when things got tough, and that was so important for all of us.”
Now grown and in different cities and states, Stephanie’s children no longer receive care here, but her commitment to helping those who do remains just as steadfast.
As a member of her neighborhood Kindervelt chapter, our largest fundraising auxiliary, Stephanie helped raise funds for a Psychiatric Emergency Assessment Center, a dedicated space in our emergency department for patients and their families seeking immediate care and mental health support.
“Kids in mental health crisis need calm, and you can’t find that in a traditional emergency room setting,” Stephanie says. “I saw how important that was. Being able to have private rooms that aren’t right next to someone with appendicitis, or a broken bone is huge, because they don’t need the same kind of care.”
Stephanie was so proud to be a part of that project and wanted to continue to support Cincinnati Children’s. So she connected with our Legacy Planning team to learn how she could use her estate plan to continue making an impact on this important work after her lifetime.
“Having been on this journey with two kids and watching the pain and suffering and struggles, I just want to help other families in the same spot,” she says. “And the gift from my estate will help me make the biggest impact on mental health care that I can.”