OhioHealth Foundation

Gratitude Stories

Hope for Neuroscience Patients

The Marlene and Joe Berwanger Fund

For more than thirty years, Marlene and Joe Berwanger have served OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital and the entire OhioHealth system through their volunteer leadership and philanthropy. 

Since 1987, Marlene has been involved with Kitchen Kapers, the annual tour of remodeled gourmet kitchens in Upper Arlington that supports cancer services at Riverside Methodist. She has also worked to support the Gratitude Tree Illumination Ceremony, as well as other initiatives of the Riverside Methodist Women’s Service Board.

Joe Berwanger has given decades of service to Riverside Methodist’s Governing Board, Foundation Board and Development Board, and the OhioHealth Chairman’s Council and Foundation Board.

Marlene and Joe Berwanger are among the most devoted OhioHealth volunteer leaders — they have made an enormous difference for patients and families, clinicians and staff members.

The Berwangers’ recent $500,000 gift established a fund in their name to support the new, state-of-the-art OhioHealth Neuroscience Center at Riverside Methodist.

The Marlene and Joe Berwanger Fund will specifically benefit the Riverside Methodist neuroscience program, with services dedicated to helping patients manage their symptoms, regain function and maintain a quality lifestyle. For patients living with Parkinson’s disease, this includes Delay the Disease™ — a life-changing exercise program designed to correct physical challenges brought on by the disease.

It is a cause the Berwangers are passionate about. Joe says, “These patients know there’s no easy fix, yet they hope for better ways to treat the disease. We liked the idea of the Neuroscience Center, and we’re excited to get in on the ground floor of the strides they will be making with neurological disorders and brain injuries.”

The Berwangers’ belief in the talented clinicians at the Neuroscience Center, including vice president and physician leader Janet Bay, MD, and others such as Delay the Disease Founder David Zid, BA, ACE, APG, gave them confidence they were putting their philanthropic dollars where they would create the greatest impact for patients. “I’m not a doctor or a scientist,” says Joe, “but I can invest in these programs and know they will make a difference.”