Celebration of Life 2018!

Each year, the odds of a child surviving cancer significantly improve, and that’s something to celebrate! Children who reach milestones in their treatment or beat cancer completely deserve to commemorate their victories, and that’s where the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and Children’s Hospital of Michigan step in. The annual “Celebration of Life” helps to make these incredible moments even more memorable for the children and their families by providing a full day of laughs, games, awards, and entertainment.
Celebration of Life is a day for children and their families to let go and have fun. They get to engage in exciting activities like Go Carts, bumper boats, rock climbing, mini golf, batting cages, and throwing water balloons at their medical team. CHM staff and volunteers distributed souvenirs such as survivor shirts, medals, gift baskets, bikes, and more. The kids that wore the “I’m a Survivor” tag rang the bell of triumph with proud, smiling faces and the crowd cheering in victory along with them.

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is proud to fund such an important event for the community of childhood cancer survivors from Children’s Hospital of Michigan. This year, 1,700 total – including 375 survivors – attended this event, some of whom shared their journey with other patients, bringing hope, comfort, and a sense of community to those feeling afraid and alone. Attendees noted they left feeling uplifted and inspired to keep fighting, and one child said what many others were thinking, “I felt like I belonged…I didn’t feel different from the other kids.”

In the Boardroom: A Conversation on Children’s Mental Health

On Thursday, June 28th, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation invited guests to discuss the mental health and wellness of children and families in our community. The event was moderated by Paul W. Smith of WJR Radio and included three panelists; Dr. David Rosenberg, Dr. Marilyn Franklin, and Karen Gall, LMSW, CTP-C.

Did you know 1 in 5 children suffer from some form of diagnosable mental illness, with suicide being the 2nd leading cause of death in college students and 3rd leading cause of death in people ages 15-24? The first topic of discussion surrounded around the role the internet plays on a child’s mental health.

Dr. David Rosenberg, psychiatrist in Chief at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center, discussed how internet addiction changes a child’s mental health.

“Social media and an internet addiction are physically damaging to the brains’ decision-making center,” explained Dr. Rosenberg. “When people go on just a couple weeks of phone detox, their brains normalize again.”

Dr. Rosenberg’s work has been featured on NBC’s Today show and he is often sought out by national media as an expert on issues of child psychiatry.

The next topic of discussion was centered around access to healthcare and the stigmas associated with getting help.

“Stereotypes are one of the largest barriers preventing people from getting the help that they need,” says child psychologist and Clinical Associate Professor at WSU, Dr. Marilyn Franklin. “Care is available but often unaffordable.”

The panelists agreed that we live in a fear-based society, with too much content to process, leaving us with limited ways to cope.

The last emerging topic centered around the role a parent’s mental health has on a child.

“There are many families that we have worked with over the years and we have kept a close eye on the child from infancy to adolescence because we knew that there was a significant mental health issue within the parents or caregiver,” explained clinical social worker, Karen Gall, LMSW, CTP-C.

“We have to see if the children are showing certain behavioral issues because of what they’ve been exposed to or if it’s their own mental health issue emerging.”

The Foundation is proud to be an advocate for children’s mental health. To help us in our efforts, click here.



Dr. David Rosenberg

Dr. David Rosenberg is a psychiatrist in Chief at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center. One topic that was covered, that Dr. Rosenberg studies, is internet addiction in children in adolescents. His work for this has been featured on NBC’s Today show and he is often sought out by national media as an expert on issues of child psychiatry.

Dr. Marilyn Franklin

Dr. Marilyn Franklin is a child psychologist and Clinical Associate Professor in the psychology department at Wayne State University where she and her team focus on teaching, training, and research activities. She is the principal investigator and primary supervisor for the integrated behavioral health team in the General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (GPAM) division of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Karen Gall, LMSW, CTP-C

Karen Gall has been a clinical social worker at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan for 26 years and has practiced Primary Care Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine for 22 years. Over the past 10 years Karen has been part of the development and facilitation team for the Integrated Behavioral Health Team in the Division of General Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 

Children’s Hospital foundation to administer Ken Daniels’ fund to battle opioid addiction

  • Fund created by Red Wings announcer to combat opioid abuse in wake of his son’s death
  • Fund is one of several the foundation is managing as it evolves into a community foundation for children
  • Beyond managing assets for donors, other nonprofits, foundation will help them fundraise
Associated Press

Detroit Red Wings television play-by-play man Ken Daniels lost his son to an opioid overdose.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation will administer a new fund created by Detroit Red Wings announcer Ken Daniels and his family to combat opioid abuse in the wake of the overdose death of his son.

The fund builds on several the $120 million foundation, independent of its namesake hospital, is now managing as it evolves into a broader community foundation for children.

The aim is to manage philanthropic assets that support children for donors and other nonprofits, in addition to making annual grants of about $6 million focused on community benefit, pediatric research and medical education from its own assets.

Matt Friedman

“There are more opportunities to fund programs that support our mission than we have funds for,” said foundation Chairman Matt Friedman, co-founder of public relations firm Tanner Friedman.

Taking on the functions of a community foundation “allows us as a foundation to have a larger footprint and a greater impact,” he said.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation has been focused on growth since it began operating independently of Children’s Hospital of Michigan after the Detroit Medical Center became a for-profit health system.

One way to grow is through direct fundraising.

“Another way is to align with others who have an interest in the mission and bring them in under our umbrella to work with us,” Friedman said.

Daniels’ story

It was nearly a year after his son’s death at the age of 23 when Daniels began to talk publicly last November about his son’s addiction and the path he was on toward recovery and a career as an attorney when he relapsed while in treatment in Florida.

Jamie Daniels was a victim of the so-called “Florida Shuffle,” a scheme aimed at milking a person’s insurance coverage rather than putting them on a path to permanent recovery.

Ken Daniels

Following his son’s death, Daniels said many reached out to him, including CBC Sports’ “Hockey Night in Canada” announcer Scott Oake, whose own son had died about five years earlier from an overdose.

Oake told him, “At some point, you’ll find your calling. Just give it time … as dark as this is, something good will come from it,” Daniels said.

He began to consider the idea of starting an independent foundation in his son’s honor when he was introduced to Friedman by a mutual acquaintance

He learned about the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, met President and CEO Lawrence Burns and knew he’d found a home for his son’s foundation.

“I don’t think I’ve had peace of mind (until) meeting Matt and Larry the last few months. Just speaking with them and hearing what we can do. They gave me a purpose,” Daniels said.

He is still working with Children’s to determine what the fund will support but looking at options including drug abuse prevention education, scholarships and Hope not Handcuffs, a program of Families Against Narcotics, which was founded by Macomb County Judge Linda Davis.

Lawrence Burns

The more Children’s talked with Daniels, the more apparent their common interest in addressing the opioid crisis became, Friedman said. By taking on administrative functions for the new fund, it leaves Daniels free to be the face of the fund and to help raise money to support its causes.

And with a staff of 18, the foundation is positioned to help Daniels establish an annual fundraising event as he’d like to do, Friedman said.

The foundation will help the Jamie Daniels Foundation and other funds it houses raise money through special events and direct individual and corporate fundraising, Burns said, noting that role will make it unique from other community foundations.

“We have already started some discussions about what those fundraising opportunities will be along with Ken and his friends, along with possibly the Red Wings (and) possibly Fox Detroit,” Burns said, adding that the Jamie Daniels Foundation’s assets could be well into the six-figure range within six months.

“Because of the doors Ken and his family will open up, I think we’ll have opportunities to develop new, positive relationships with other people in the community.”

Other pacts

The pact with the Jamie Daniels Foundation is one of three Children’s has forged so far to administer assets and grants. Other funds include:

  • The Dick and Gail Purtan Family Endowment Fund, which supports children’s cancer research and treatment.
  • The Evelyn Grace Foundation, with a mission to bring light to children and their families during dark times.
  • The Healing Kids Foundation, supporting efforts to help pediatric burn survivors and their families cover the costs of treatment that insurance does not.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is looking to the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan — which manages assets of more than $900 million — and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit/United Jewish Foundation, with its roughly $650 million in assets, as models for how a community foundation can grow and operate, Burns said.

“If we can be half as successful as them, we’ll be doing great work.”

CHMF hosts Grant Announcement to honor 14 new community partners

On June 6th, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation hosted a special event in the Fisher Building to celebrate the second round of the 2018 grant cycle. The Foundation awards new funding to applicants whose work supports the Three Pillars (Community Benefit, Pediatric Research, and Medical Education) and Five Focus Areas (Nutritional Wellness, Abuse and Neglect, Injury Prevention, Mental Health, and Oncology/Cardiology). The funding from this grant cycle totals more than two million dollars and will support a total of 51 projects, 14 of which are new community partners with the Foundation.

“[The Foundation] has assembled an incredible community that is very focused on the vision they have created through the Three Pillars. This vision breathes life into so many of us who are on the front line trying to address the very issues that [the Foundation] has identified as critically important” -Brett Tillander, CEO at Boys and Girls Club of Oakland and Macomb Counties.
Through funding, advocacy, and the addition of 14 new partnerships, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is deepening the impact on pediatric health needs and advancing the well-being of more children and families in the community.

14 new grant partnerships:
Beaumont Health System – River Rouge H.S. Beaumont Teen Health Center
Boys & Girls Club of Oakland and Macomb Counties – Connect Today! Program
Care House of Oakland County – Breaking the Cycle of Abuse Program
Chad Tough Foundation / University of Michigan – Precision Oncology in a Multi-Institutional, Multi-Ethnic Cohort of Children with High-Risk Malignancies
Children’s Hospital Association / Children’s Hospital of Michigan – Speak Now for Kids 2018 Family Advocacy Day
Detroit Cristo Rey High School – Vision Testing and Eye Glass Replacement
Detroit Police / Detroit Public Safety Foundation– Children in Trauma Intervention Camp
Detroit Public Television – Detroit PBS Kids: Healthy Choices
Friendship Circle – Lessons for Life
Gleaners – Making Investments in the Lives of Kids (MILK) Movement
Jewish Foundation – “We Need to Talk” Multimedia Content Packages
Kids Kicking Cancer – The Heroes Circle – Children Healing Children
Ruth Ellis Center – Family Support Model with LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care
University Pediatricians Autism Center – Autism Center Program Training


Reach out and Read prepares children for literacy success for years to come


The learning experience a child has before they reach 5 years of age establishes the foundation for educational success for the duration of their lives. During this initial stage, the brain evolves at a rate faster than any other time within the developmental process, and children acquire language skills that prepare them for success in literacy and learning when they enter kindergarten, and throughout their education.

Throughout the United States, one out of six children between the ages of 1 and 5 regularly goes to bed without hearing a story read aloud. For children living in poverty, this figure may be higher, and often these children don’t have access to books in their homes.  Because of numbers like these, Reach Out and Read (ROAR) was founded as a national program by a group of pediatricians and educators who recognized the tremendous significance of infancy and toddlerhood in setting the stage for learning.

ROAR prepares children to succeed in school by engaging health care professionals to work with parents to reinforce the connection of literacy as an important part of childhood development. The program partners with pediatricians to provide each child with a free book at every check-up visit and extends literacy counseling to parents by providing tips and encouragement.

Through funding from the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, the ROAR program at Children’s Hospital of Michigan has impacted children’s lives by providing books and literacy counseling to thousands of families.  Reach Out and Read incorporates early childhood education into pediatric care with the hope that one day all children will be prepared to succeed in school.


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


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.