The Foundation Approves $4.74 Million In Grants to Support The Health and Wellness of Children



July 11, 2017, Detroit, Mich.— Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation (CHMF) announced the approval of 124 grants totaling $4.74 million for pediatric health and wellness thus far in 2017.  Established in 2003, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing the health and wellness of children in Michigan through philanthropic support emphasizing five primary focus areas: injury prevention, oncology and cardiology research, abuse and neglect, behavioral health, and nutritional wellness.

“The grants we approved have the potential to not only impact children in Michigan but will make a positive contribution to all children locally and throughout Michigan,” said Lawrence J. Burns, President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.  “Funding has been approved for programs ranging from diseases that do not yet have a cure, to programs that would not exist, but for the funding our Foundation provides.”

For example, the Foundation approved grants to:

  • $64,554 was awarded to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, to fund a home monitoring program for children with complex heart defects, who are extremely vulnerable at the very beginning of their lives. Providing families with iPads so they can directly connect to the hospital via web-based and social media formats will allow doctors to not only monitor the child remotely, but also make adjustments in their medical care as necessary.
  • $50,000 was awarded to the City of Detroit for the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent initiative. This program is a citywide summer jobs program that trains and employs young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 for 6 weeks in July and August. “When I met with Mayor Duggan and asked how the Foundation could help support his effort, this program was at the top of his list. This program will help children in our community gain meaningful work experiences that will create pathways for their future,” said Lawrence J. Burns, President & CEO of Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.
  • $59,685 was awarded to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan to support research around Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia, or JMML. “Pediatric research is the key to developing advances in medical care and treatment,” said Dr. Yaddanapudi Ravindranath, MD, Oncologist at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and one of the grantees. “Since JMML is such a rare disease, there is very little known about the best course of treatment. Funding from the Foundation will allow researchers to use a modern genome investigative technique to determine the best treatment.”
  • $75,000 was awarded to Wayne State University to study post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression in refugee children from Syria and Iraq. Recent civil wars in Syria and Iraq have forced millions of civilians to flee their countries and many of these refugees have settled in southeast Michigan.  The stress of the migration has the potential to have extreme mental and emotional impacts on top of the trauma of exposure to civil war. “Our preliminary data suggests that more than half of the refugee children suffer from anxiety, 80% have separation anxiety, and near 20% may have PTSD, a rate even higher than that of returning veterans.,” said Dr. Arash Javanbakht, Wayne State University. “The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation plays such a vital role in providing the startup funds to research such important programs such as the mental health of refugee children.”
  • Malnourished children, either over or undernourished, are more likely to get sick, recover more slowly from illness, require hospitalization and perform poorly in school. “Add to that the immune response to vaccinations and there may be a relationship between obesity and secondary immunodeficiency. Thanks to the support of the Foundation we will now be able to determine if there is indeed a link,” said Wayne State University Dr. Pavadee   The Foundation approved $25,160 to Wayne State University to support Dr. Poowuttikul’s research.
  • In Michigan, 1 in 10 children live in families that have been investigated for abuse or neglect, an increase of 41% since 2006. “Thanks in large part to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, we are able to offer Kids TALK Children’s Advocacy Center,” said Kari Walker, President and CEO of Guidance Center, another grantee. The Foundation approved $60,000 to continue Kids TALK, a community-based program that serves children through 17 years of age, providing comprehensive services to suspected child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, or other forms of psychological trauma, including witness to violent crimes.
  • Because sleep-related deaths are the leading cause of death among babies, 28 days to one year old, The Michigan Health Endowment Fund sought to support implementation of effective strategies to reduce sleep-related deaths, including strategies identified by the State of Michigan’s Infant Mortality Reduction Plan.  In partnership with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, $80,328 was awarded to Children’s Hospital of Michigan to support the Safe Baby Academy: Protecting Your Sleeping Baby program to help reduce infant mortality. “The Michigan Health Endowment Fund and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation are critical partners in ensuring our children are safe,” said grant recipient, Christina Shanti, MD, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “The funds will be used to provide infant safety and safe sleep education.” This grant will make a positive impact on hundreds new and expectant mothers and caregivers.
  • Congenital heart defects are a leading cause of infantile death in the United States and a significant health burden for many children. Heart transplantation is life saving for hundreds of these infants and children, but unfortunately 20% of children on the heart transplant list will die each year awaiting a new heart due to the scarcity of donors. Through a donor designation, $90,220 was approved to go to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to fund research that has the potential to transform how donor hearts are preserved and eventually transplanted for pediatric patients in dire need for a new heart. “This ground breaking research has the potential of greatly enlarging the pool of donor hearts available for transplant, impacting children locally and regionally,” stated Dr. Michael Klein, pediatric critical care surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Of the 2017 grants funded to date, 62 percent of the grants were awarded to fund programs and research at The Children’s Hospital of Michigan, while 17 percent went to fund programs and research at Wayne State University. A complete list of grants may be viewed here.

“We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to review all of the grant applications, and determine, based on our priorities, where we can help make the biggest impact,” said Burns.

To learn more about how the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is making an impact in our community, please visit

MEDIA CONTACT |Larry Burns| t. 419-261-3049| |@LarryBurns

Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation

To advance children’s health and wellness the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is dedicated to the support and safekeeping of children’s health and wellness through fundraising, grant making and advocacy. To learn more, please visit