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




2017 Festival of Trees Celebrates the Spirit of Giving in Dearborn

DETROIT, Mich, June 6, 2017-The 33rd Annual Festival of Trees, a benefit for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, returns to the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center November 19th through November 26th.

The Festival of Trees is a public display of spectacular professionally designed 7’ and 5’ holiday trees, tabletop trees, wreaths and other holiday gift shop items that are sold to raise funds for pediatric research.

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Shower of Love Holds Their 17th Event

In 1991, Cathy Hasse and her three childhood friends decided they wanted to give back to the community but didn’t know how. They quickly researched potential opportunities and discovered the Clothes Closet at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Hasse and friends came up with the idea of holding a baby shower themed event called Showers of Love. An event that was originally planned to be a one-time endeavor, now in its 17th year, has volunteers donating clothes and gift cards for families and children in need.

A dedicated long-time volunteer was honored at the event on May 24, 2017 at the Italian American Banquet and Conference Center. Heather Remo – a woman in her 90s –donates her time and various clothing items each year.This year, she hand knitted 60 pairs of booties for this event. Cathy claims that it is volunteers like Heather that makes the event successful. She is proud to claim, “all of the money we raise goes to children.”

Children Hospital of Michigan Foundation proudly supports the Clothes Closet at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. This service provides casual clothing, outerwear, and layette items to hospitalized patients and families in need. For more information, please visit our website at



Festival of Trees Selected to Participate in the 2017 Art Van Charity Challenge

We are excited to announce that our partners at Festival of Trees were recently selected to be one of the 2017 Art Van Charity Challenge participants! Festival of Trees plays an instrumental role in funding pediatric research initiatives at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.  For the past 33 years, Festival of Trees has worked diligently with talented designers and volunteers to create a magical wintry wonderland, bringing hope and joy to children and families who visit.  Please join us in supporting Festival of Trees by donating or helping spread the word!

To light up a child’s life and learn more about Festival of Trees, click the link below:

After clicking the link above, there are multiple ways that you can help Festival of Trees reach their goal of $50,000:

  • Clicking the “fundraise for this campaign” will allow you to reach out to your contacts via email and social media to let others know they can contribute too.
  • Clicking the “Donate” button will allow you to give your gift.

If Festival of Trees raises enough funds, they will be awarded a grand prize of $100,000!

Don’t forget – the last day to donate is April 25th at 12:00 p.m.

With working smoke alarms, injuries and fatalities can be prevented

Thanks to a generous gift from the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation, fire detectors will become available for families to prevent future injury


April 3, 2017 – Detroit, Mich.— On average, the Detroit Fire Department responds to over 30,000 fires a year, roughly 82 per day. Children under the age of 5 are at the greatest risk of death and injury due to home fires.

Thanks to a generous $100,000 grant from the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is able to fund the Smoke Alarm Installation and Fire Safety program at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, which focuses on preventing and reducing fire related injuries. The Smoke Alarm Installation and Fire Safety program supports at-risk families in the community with fire prevention education and safety tools. This funding will go toward the purchase of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and educational and training materials.

“Jane and I are honored to make this grant to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.   Programs like this play a key role in making our community a safer, healthier place for families and children,” said Richard Manoogian.

In response to the staggering number of children visiting the Emergency Room due to preventable injuries, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation supports several Injury Prevention Programs at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

“The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is committed to preventing injury and providing the resources to Michigan children and their families to protect themselves,” said Lawrence Burns, President and CEO of the Foundation.  “That is why we support programs such as the Smoke Alarm Installation and Fire Safety Program as one of our focus areas in pediatric injury prevention. We are extremely grateful to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation for recognizing the need to place working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in homes with children, to prevent future injury or fatality.”

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

Contact: Jill Nelson  – 313-966-2022 –

About Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation
The goal of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is to make a significant, lasting and positive impact on children’s health through three primary areas:  Pediatric medical research, innovative community benefits and advanced medical education.  Through our efforts to improve children’s health and wellness, children have more days to play, nights to dream, and time just to be kids.  While the Foundation supports Children’s Hospital of Michigan, it is a separate public charity governed by its own independent board of directors., @CHMFoundation.

About the Children’s Hospital of Michigan,
For 130 years, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan has been dedicated to providing high quality care to children and adolescents in a caring, efficient and family-centered environment. With more than 40 pediatric medical and surgical specialty services, the hospital draws patients from nearly every Michigan County, 39 additional states, and 22 countries, annually and provides the highest level of pediatric specialty care available for children. The hospital is a national leader in cardiology and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, nephrology, and orthopedics. It is ranked as one of America’s best hospitals for children and sees more children than any hospital in the state. Children’s Hospital of Michigan is one of eight hospitals operated by the Detroit Medical Center (DMC).

Smoke Alarm Installation and Fire Safety Program.  The smoke alarm program is a collaborative effort of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM) Trauma Center, and local police and fire departments. Teams of trained volunteers from CHM and local community organizations coordinate to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on the floors that do not have them. The existing smoke detectors in the home, if any, will be checked during the installation to ensure they are working properly. Batteries are changed as necessary, and smoke detectors found to be outdated or not working properly are replaced. At the time of the installation, families are encouraged to make a commitment to test the smoke alarms once a month, develop a fire escape plan, practice escape routes regularly, and maintain the fire safety equipment in the home.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Debuts Caring for Kids

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, in conjunction with WJR 760AM, launched a new radio program, Caring for Kids, on February 28, 2017.

The show, which will air monthly the fourth Tuesday of the month from 7 to 8 p.m., focuses on highlighting individuals and organizations addressing issues and efforts locally, regionally and nationally, that are having a significant impact on the health and well-being of children.

Caring for Kids is hosted by Larry Burns, President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

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Making Hospitals A Less Scary Place Through Partnerships and Passion

With the support of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, The Spirit Halloween stores gives more than $250,000 to Children’s Hospital


January 26, 2017 – Detroit, Mich.— Since 2007, Spirit Halloween, the largest Halloween specialty retailer in the country, has raised more than $293,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, to support the Child Life program at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. A hospital can be a scary place for an adult, let alone a child. Child Life programs, funded through the Spirit of Children program work to make the hospital look like and feel less scary.

“We are able to give back to the children in and around Detroit by partnering with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and supporting such worthwhile programs like Child Life. We work to bring the Halloween spirit to all children, no matter where they celebrate the holiday. By extending the Halloween holiday spirit with this gift, we are working to bring lots of fun into a “scary” place, meaning the hospital.” Bill Clanton, a Michigan Zone Manager, Spirit Halloween.

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Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Hosts Auto Show Charity Preview Parties


Supporters of Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation (CHMF), one of eight children’s charities benefiting from the 2017 Auto Show Charity Preview, can enhance their festive evening at special pre- and post-Preview parties. To thank individuals who designate CHMF as their charity of choice for the Auto Show Preview, the Foundation will host a complimentary pre-reception beginning at 4:30 p.m., January 13, 2017 at the MGM Grand Detroit Casino and Hotel.

In addition, guests can extend their Charity Preview evening at CHMF’s Big Shots, LITTLE STARS, a glamorous after-glow featuring a strolling dinner, cocktails and entertainment by Kimmie Horne. Big Shots, LITTLE STARS begins at 8:30 p.m. at MGM Grand. Complimentary transportation will be provided to and from the Auto Show Charity Preview. Tickets are $250 and are available by calling

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Wayne State’s zebrafish might hold key to fighting leukemia

, Detroit Free Press 10:24 p.m. EST December 25, 2016

The key to early detection of childhood leukemia might be found in thousands of tiny fish soon to be swimming around in a Wayne State University lab.

The new research project is using zebrafish to identify the genetic and environmental factors that in combination may lead to the development of childhood leukemia. Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens, accounting for almost one out of three cancers.

The work is being funded by Kids Without Cancer, a nonprofit group of parents whose children have been treated for cancer at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. The group has committed $356,000 to Wayne State University School of Medicine researchers.

The financial support will result in the creation of a new zebrafish aquatic housing system in WSU’s Integrative Biosciences Center and support of 10 years of pediatric cancer research. The new system will be installed in 2017.

The goal? Researchers hope to find out if a common pesticide is a trigger that flips a switch in a specific gene, causing leukemia in children.

First, researchers, with financial support from Kids Without Cancer, were able to breed zebrafish with the human leukemia genes.

“We had so much success with our original support that we saw the potential of additional scientific breakthroughs if we could ramp the research up,” said Chris Vandenberg, executive director of Kids Without Cancer.

Now, they are looking for the trigger that causes some children with those genes to develop leukemia and others to not develop it, according to developmental geneticist Ryan Thummel, an assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology in the WSU School of Medicine.

They are using fish that are practically see-through. Although small in their tanks, researchers can see the spinal column and blood moving throughout the fish. That allows them to quickly notice if the fish has been switched to have leukemia — the fish turns off-white, Thummel said.

There’s another reason researchers are using the zebrafish — they are a lot cheaper than the traditional mice used in these types of experiments. A mouse can cost up to $100 per year, while a fish is a $1 per year. There’s also a number advantage to using the fish. Because a low percentage of fish, and people, with the gene develop leukemia, researchers can introduce various triggers to thousands of fish at a time, letting them study a large number of fish with the disease at a time.

“Zebrafish can produce thousands of offspring from a single mating event,” Thummel said. “This allows us to screen genetically similar siblings on a very large scale.”

The first pesticide to be tested will be propoxur, which is commonly used against grass, forestry and household pests and fleas.

The project grew out of work done in treating children with leukemia by Dr. Jeffrey Taub, chief of oncology at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and professor of pediatrics in the WSU School of Medicine. He’s searching for ways to identify the possibility children could develop leukemia. He’d like to be able to use blood already taken for newborn screenings to test for the gene and allow doctors to carefully monitor those children and their exposure to whatever trigger is found to help treat the leukemia. So that might mean a young child with the gene might need quarterly monitoring visits with their pediatrician instead of yearly visits.

Environmental toxicologist Tracie Baker, an assistant professor in WSU’s institute of environmental health sciences, is joining the research team. She has extensive experience using zebrafish to understand the adverse health effects of exposure to environmental toxins.

The zebrafish facility will be built by Aquaneering, an internationally recognized leader in the manufacturing of zebrafish housing systems. In addition, Aquaneering is donating a $7,000 gift-in-kind toward the project. The facility will include three rows of floor-to-ceiling (7-foot-tall) racks with an approximate capacity of 6,000 adult zebrafish. It will be in the university’s IBio building, which was recently built to help researchers from a variety of disciplines work together on research projects.

“This collaboration between a practicing clinician and research scientists is extremely well-suited for revealing previously unrecognized environmental influences and genes that can trigger the development of leukemia,” said Larry Burns, president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. “We’re hopeful this partnership will prove scientifically fruitful, as well as expand our fund-raising opportunities.”

Contact David Jesse: 313-222-8851 or Follow him on Twitter @reporterdavidj

Coverage of this research was also found in the following publications:

USA Today:

KHOU-TV (Houston):

The Washington Post: d03044780a02_story.html?utm_term=.f00b639cbb12