Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation announces new partnership with the Healing Kids Foundation







The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is excited to announce a new partnership with the Healing Kids Foundation. Healing Kids Foundation is a charity designed to help pediatric burn victims and their families as well as to bring awareness and hopeful prevention to pediatric burns in the Detroit area and surrounding cities. This new initiative was started by Tonya Klein, whose husband is a pediatric surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where pediatric burns are one of his specialties.


Per the American Burn Association:
Each year in the US, roughly 250,000 children under age 17 require medical attention for burn injuries. Approximately 15,000 children require hospitalization for burn injuries. 1,100 children per year die from fires and burn-related injuries.



Being there for kids when they need it most!

A visit to the hospital can be stressful for kids and parents alike, but Child Life Specialists help make it as comfortable as possible. These trained professionals are experts in child development and they help distract kids from the pain and anxiety of a hospital stay. In 2017, more than 13,000 kids received Child Life Services such as art, music and yoga therapy at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

To the unfamiliar, creative therapies such as art and music therapy appear to be just arts and crafts, or simply child’s play. Yet creative therapies are valid treatments, proven to promote and improve the healing process. Your donation would enable us to fund treatment solutions like these to truly make a difference in the life of a child.

When working with a child, art therapist Victoria Goldsmith initially establishes rapport, then emphasizes that the outcome of the art is not really what’s important. Approached as a process, not as an end result, art can help children release energy and become a means of self-expression that doesn’t require words.

“One of my favorite interventions is a scribble drawing,” she says. “We use pen or pencil and paper, and the patient can select a time frame. A 20-second scribble helps get out that pent-up physical energy. After that, I present a challenge—what can we find in the scribbles?”
The following is an example of how music therapy played an important role in the care of a young child:

Michaela Rabin was just 2 years old when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Suddenly, her world became a frightening place full of painful medical procedures. Over the course of a year, Michaela spent 100 days in the hospital and while her body was healing, she was becoming anxious and fearful.

“Suddenly, everything scared her,” says Michaela’s mother, Amy Rabin. “She became apprehensive of everything and cried when people just walked through the door.”
Among the many therapies that Michaela received, the most soothing came from music therapist Blythe Filar. By playing music, Filar helped Michaela reduce her stress level and better tolerate her environment. “Eventually, Blythe could walk into the room and Michaela was not afraid of her,” Rabin says. “Music therapy was a lifesaver, a truly wonderful thing. It returned something that was taken away from Michaela.”

Today, Michaela is a thriving 6-year-old kindergartener.

Kids in the hospital need all the help we can give them, and creative therapy is an important tool. Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is committed to improving the health and well-being of all kids in Michigan and we need your help to continue to serve the thousands of other children like Michaela.

With your continued support, we can make sure that more children and families receive Child Life Services like art and music therapy when they need them the most.



Foundation Funded Integrated Care Program Offers Mental Health Treatment When and Where Children Need It

Patients at Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s General Pediatric and Medicine Clinic typically come for primary care, including wellness visits. But a special and equally important part of their initial visit is a mental health screening to assess behavioral, psychiatric or substance abuse problems. It is the first step in the clinic’s Integrated Care Program, which began with a grant from the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation and is now being funded by Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

Clinic social workers Victoria Meyring and Karen Gall alert physicians if there are indicators of a mental or behavioral issue based on a Pediatric Symptom Checklist completed by patients and their parents. Clinic pediatricians then decide whether to refer their young patients for treatment provided by psychology doctoral students from Wayne State University, who are supervised by licensed clinical psychologists.

“By being part of a medical clinic, we eliminate the stigma of mental health and financial and accessibility barriers,” says Karen Gall. The psychologist- trainees work with their patients and often their families once or twice a week for as long as necessary. Unlike most mental health treatment covered by public or private insurance, there is no cap on the number of visits—a major advantage, say clinic social workers.

Through support from the Foundation, almost 1,500 patients a year have been screened for mental health conditions and 200 have received treatment, according to Douglas Barnett, Ph.D., professor and director of the Wayne State University Psychology Training Clinic. This program fills an important need, he says, because it is difficult to find mental health services for children, even with health insurance.

Treatment and family education are provided for attention deficit disorder, depression, anxiety, school phobia, substance abuse, self-harming and suicidal thoughts. “We use research supported treatments and avoid using medication first. A child doesn’t need to have a diagnosis—we are big on prevention. We try to promote kids being more connected and becoming more successful in school,” says Dr. Barnett.

Many patients live in neighborhoods where instability and violence are not uncommon. As a result, some children may have behavioral issues due to trauma, clinic social workers say, and the mental health screening tool includes some special questions—“Has anything scary happened? Do you feel safe in your own home?” The clinic’s physicians, social workers and therapists meet monthly to discuss patients. “I learn if my patient is attending therapy, what the therapeutic goals are and what issues are being worked on. This allows the therapist and clinician to jointly develop a plan to better manage the patient’s overall health and well-being,” says Sharon Marshall, M.D., clinical chief, Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and associate professor of pediatrics at Wayne State University. “By being part of a medical clinic, we eliminate the stigma of mental health and financial and accessibility barriers.” pediatrics at Wayne State University. “The mind and body are equally important, and many physical conditions have behavioral components,” says Dr. Barnett. The program’s atmosphere is very optimistic, he says, because “kids get better.”

Shopping For A Cause with Shinola Detroit!

On Wednesday, March 7th the Foundation hosted our first Shopping For A Cause event at Shinola Detroit! A portion of the proceeds from event night benefitted the Foundation and our efforts to improve the health and wellness of children. Purchases throughout the night included a limited-edition Copenhagen bicycle, diamond jewelry, watches, and journals.

Some of our guests included, Luanne Thomas-Ewald, CEO of DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Leslie Love, State Representative, and Ron Fournier, Publisher for Crain’s Detroit Business. We would like to thank everyone who came and made the night a huge success. Be sure to be on the lookout for our next Shopping For A Cause event! To view all photos, visit our image gallery here. 

State Representative Leslie Love pictured above with CHMF Staff

Luanne Thomas-Ewald, CEO of DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan pictured above with CEO & President of the Foundation, Lawrence J. Burns

Ron Fournier, Publisher for Crain’s Detroit Business pictured above with CEO & President of the Foundation, Lawrence J. Burns


Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation partners with Kohl’s Cares to prevent unintentional injuries






Contact: Jill Nelson
Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation

In partnership with Kohl’s Cares, The Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation have launched a new initiative committed to preventing unintentional childhood injury.

DETROIT, February 28, 2018 – The new Kohl’s S.A.F.E for Kids (KS4K) program Strengthening Accident-Free Environments will educate parents, other caregivers, and community professionals to enhance their ability to prevent unintentional childhood injuries. Those injuries most commonly occur in three categories; unsafe sleep, fires and burn, and car accidents. KS4K will strategically concentrate on five regions (48221, 48227, 48228, 48235, 48238) in the city of Detroit with high rates of unintentional childhood injury to increase safety knowledge and reduce unintentional injuries in children.

On Thursday, February 22, 2018 a kickoff event for KS4K was held at Focus: HOPE in Detroit. The event featured food, games, activities and giveaways, along with informative Car Seat Safety demonstrations. In total, 82 car seats were distributed to 43 families in need. Funding support from Kohl’s Cares will ensure that more children will have a chance to grow up injury free.

“Children’s injury prevention is a top priority of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation,” says Lawrence J. Burns, President and CEO, “and we are grateful for Kohl’s commitment to safety.”

Since 2001, Kohl’s has donated more than $6.9 million through Kohl’s Cares® to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation to benefit patients and families at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Kohl’s commitment to Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and soft toys, with 100 percent of net profit benefitting charitable initiatives nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one.


About the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation

Established in 2003, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is the state’s largest funder dedicated solely to advancing the health and wellness of the children of Michigan. Through funding and advocacy dedicated to three core pillars – Community Benefit, Pediatric Research and Medical Education – the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation enables researchers and community organizations to identify and implement innovations capable of advancing children’s health.  Since 2011 we have provided more than 40 million in grant funding.  Our current areas of focus include mental health, nutritional wellness, abuse and neglect, oncology and cardiology research and injury prevention.


About the Children’s Hospital of Michigan,

For more than 130 years, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan is the first hospital in the state dedicated exclusively to the treatment of children. With more than 40 pediatric medical and surgical specialties and services, it is ranked one of America’s best hospitals for children and sees more children than any hospital in the state. More Michigan pediatricians are trained at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan than at any other facility. Children’s Hospital of Michigan is one of eight hospitals operated by the Detroit Medical Center (DMC).

About Kohl’s

Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a leading specialty department store with more than 1,100 stores in 49 states. With a commitment to inspiring and empowering families to lead fulfilled lives, the company offers amazing national and exclusive brands, incredible savings and inspiring shopping experiences in-store, online at and via mobile devices. Committed to its communities, Kohl’s has raised nearly $300 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl’s Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. For additional information about Kohl’s philanthropic and environmental initiatives, visit For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit

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2/28/18 Rare Disease Day

Each year, the last day of February is recognized as Rare Disease Day. At Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, we are proud to support research and programs that enhance the health and wellness of children. Today, in honor of Rare Disease Day, we’re highlighting one of the programs we support that aims to make an impact on a rare disease.

The Foundation supports an annual Metabolic Clinic 2017 PKU (phenylketonuria) Picnic.

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare condition in which your body cannot break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. Amino acids help build protein in your body. Without treatment, phenylalanine builds up in the blood and causes health problems. The approximate incident rate of PKU in the US is 0.01%. This means about 74 infants every day are diagnosed with PKU.

The purpose of the Metabolic Clinic PKU picnic allows patients and families dealing with PKU the opportunity to come together and grow educational opportunities and support groups.

Through our efforts, we encourage patients and their families to continue treatment for low protein and amino acid disorders and assist them with their dietary needs. We hope to encourage patients to return to diet and seek medical treatment and diet management.

Making Hospitals A Less Scary Place Through Partnerships and Passion 

January 21, 2017 – Detroit, Mich.— Since 2007, Spirit Halloween, the largest Halloween specialty retailer in the country, has raised more than $349,466 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.

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation distributed coupons in the weeks leading up to the Halloween holiday, for families to shop at Spirit Halloween stores. With each purchase where the coupons were used, Spirit Halloween donated 10 percent of the sale to the Foundation. This year, the Foundation was awarded $55,886 towards the Child Life Department.

We are thankful to Spirit Halloween and the Spirit of Children program for their generosity.” stated Lawrence J. Burns, President & CEO of Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. “Their continued support allows us to provide support for important programs and services that improve the health and wellness of children.”