National Nutrition Month – March 2019

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is dedicated to supporting nutritional wellness programs to benefit children in the community. Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to provide nutritional wellness support to a number of organizations in Michigan.

In honor of nutritional wellness month, we are highlighting a few of our ongoing nutritional wellness initiatives:

Food Insecurity: The food security program aims to help children and families who are struggling with food insecurity. Food insecurities are the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active healthy lifestyle. This issue affects 20-25% of children in the Detroit area. The program will educate, nurses, doctors, and staff on how to screen for food insecurities. It will also aim to make food insecurities screening a requirement for all children admitted to CHM. This program also aims to educate families on where to find resources.

LACH (Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities): LACH is a healthy living program working with children, parents/caregivers and elementary schools to encourage children to develop and establish healthy nutrition and exercise habits at a young age. Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation (CHMF) is actively funding the project’s expansion. LACH program plans to reach 500 students from 2nd to 5th grade at four schools in the metro Detroit area. The program is offered at Dossin elementary, Gardner Elementary, Hamilton Academy, and Universal Elementary. The program will also provide schools and families additional resources such as recipes, newsletters and exercise routines to implement the “Healthy Schools Healthy Communities Program”.

Gleaners Community Food Bank: Making Investments in the Lives of Kids (M.I.L.K), will bring all food bank initiatives together to provide healthier foods for children and their families. The goal of the program is to provide the nutrients children need after school to grow strong and healthy. Many children only receive nutrients in meals that they receive in school during the school year. In the food emergency network milk is the least donated item, which for families with food insecurities milk tends to be unaffordable. Not only will CHMF help expand and connect the food banks we will also support gleaners to purchase 43,200 gallons of fresh milk for families.

FitKids 360: Fit kids 360 is an ongoing initiative with the Wayne Children’s Healthcare Access Program (WCHAP). The goal of the program is to increase activity, improve diets, reduce screen time and to increase behavior in children for longer and healthier lives. By far the program has reached 239 kids with 50 graduates from the program and a 90% retention rate. FitKids 360 is working to expand their program. They Plan to hold four FitKids 360 sessions during the school year and one FitKids 360 On the Move 12-week program during the summer.

To support nutritional wellness and programs like these please visit:

Crain’s Detroit Business Names Two Foundation Employees ‘Notable Women’

Jill Nelson
Director of Marketing and Communications, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation

Recent education: Master of Healthcare Administration, University of Cincinnati

Jill Nelson’s ability to maintain a positive attitude makes her “an outstanding ambassador” for the public grantmaking charity. That attitude also makes her workplace more productive.

“Jill is not only a talented communications professional, but she is an absolute pleasure to work with every day. … Her attitude is a game changer,” said Larry Burns, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

Nelson, who is primary liaison between Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, DMC Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and other partners, was promoted to her current position last year.

Nelson led efforts to increase awareness of the foundation through myriad initiatives including print; broadcast, such as its Caring for Kids radio show; billboards at Comerica Park and Little Caesars Arena; and interactive media on its website. She also spearheaded a campaign to create a new logo and brand for the foundation separate from Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Nelson helped develop partnerships with sports teams, including the “Little Champion of the Game” program that recognizes youth who have overcome various obstacles and raises awareness of the foundation.

In addition, Nelson, a member of Women in Communications, Michigan Health and Hospital Association and Detroit Economic Club’s Young Leaders, holds informal mentoring sessions with high school and college students exploring career paths.

Therese Quattrociocchi-Longe
Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation

Education: Master of Science of Biology, Oakland University

A former research scientist, Therese Quattrociocchi-Longe brings a unique perspective to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

She was integral in the process of helping the foundation become independent of Children’s Hospital and assisted in developing a robust grant award process. She also was part of a team to identify three pillars of the nonprofit’s fundraising and grantmaking efforts. Those include pediatric research, community benefit and medical education. In addition, Quattrociocchi-Longe was key to ascertaining the foundation’s current focus on nutritional wellness, injury prevention, abuse and neglect, mental health and oncology and cardiology research.

“I admire Therese’s passion for and dedication to the mission of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, as well as her research background and attention to detail. Particularly in the complex field of behavioral health, the foundation and the Grants Committee has come to rely on her expertise and insights to help guide our work,” said Terry Gardner, COO of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

With direction from Quattrociocchi-Longe, the foundation has met or exceeded fundraising goals by raising $1.8 million to $3.6 million each year and distributed $48 million to positively impact the health of children and families.

In addition to her work with the foundation, Quattrociocchi-Longe is a member of the Michigan Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and the Council of Michigan Foundations and chair of the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board.

Healing Kids Foundation – Super Hero Dash 2018!

On September 22nd, Tonya Klein, founder of the Healing Kids Foundation, and wife of Dr. Justin Klein, held her first annual event to benefit pediatric burn victims at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. The Super Hero Dash was held at Bloomfield Hunt Club and had over 150 attendees and 20 volunteers.

The family-friendly event featured a superhero food truck, inflatable bounce houses, entertainment and more. The proceeds from the event will help Children’s Hospital of Michigan burn survivors and their families through their healing process and beyond.

Margaret Johnson, Physical Therapist for the burn unit at CHM expressed gratitude for the event and its importance for CHM patients.

“Being a pediatric burn physical therapist is one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs I can imagine. We work with children and their families during what is most often the hardest physically and most definitely emotional times of their lives. We provide not only medical care but also provide emotional support to our patients and their families. During this time, we inevitably become very close with our patients and their families.

I am so grateful that Tonya Klein and her team have been able to create this opportunity. This event provides our patients a place where they can just be kids again and caregivers like me, an opportunity to connect and engage with our patients and their families outside of the hospital environment. This event was especially memorable for me more than any other I have attended as I was able to watch my own children play and interact with my patients in a happy and judgment-free environment.

I am honored and privileged to work at CHM’s burn clinic and to have been able to join  both my families for an excellent cause!”

« 1 of 5 »

A Casual Conversation Results in Large Gift to the Foundation

Twelve years ago, in 2006, Joe and Marion Schasney were considering their estate plans and looking for a way to create their personal legacy — a way they could really have a big impact. Then, a chance conversation with their neighbor’s babysitter, Mary Ellen Klein, brought things into focus. Mary Ellen had lost her son, Danny, to leukemia 20 years before and was now a volunteer for an organization named Leukemia, Research, Life (now Kids Without Cancer). Mary Ellen’s story moved the Schasneys, and with her help, they scheduled a tour of the hematology/oncology department and Children’s Hospital of Michigan. They knew at that point what they needed to do — build a legacy with CHM through the Foundation — but as a result of meeting doctors and seeing the hospital, Joe said, “…we were so impressed, we decided to arrange a larger gift than we anticipated making.”

The wheels were in motion. The Schasneys established a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust that would secure a life income for them, and generate charitable gifts for each of the organizations: Kids Without Cancer, and CHMF. Beyond this generous gift, Joe and Marion included a significant specific bequest of $2,000,000 for CHMF in their estate trust. Their decision gave them great satisfaction, especially since Marion had waged her own battle with leukemia some 10 years before.

The two retired to Venice, Florida, and enjoyed their lives, keeping in touch with their two daughters in Michigan and Georgia, and their grandchildren. In 2010, Marion passed away, and Joe stayed in Venice, where he passed away last fall, weeks after celebrating his 99th birthday.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is grateful to the Schasneys for the legacy they have created to help children win their fights against cancer. The legacy they’ve created will keep them alive in the kids who receive better treatments and brighter futures!

Read the full press release here. 


The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation combats Abuse & Neglect with the Ruth Ellis Center

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is proud to announce the Ruth Ellis Center (REC) as 1 of our 14 new grantees this year. In alignment with our new priority area of Abuse & Neglect, we could not ignore the children of the metro-Detroit community faced with these issues and have partnered with the REC to support the implementation of the Family Acceptance Project’s Family Support Model by allocating $50,000 to their cause.

The Ruth Ellis Center (REC) has been helping the LGBTQ+ youth in Detroit and surrounding cities for nearly 20 years. The center began because of Ruth Ellis, a well-respected and loved African-American lesbian woman, whose home served as a safe space for other LGBTQ+ Detroiters in need of inclusion, acceptance, and assistance. Most of the youth admitted to their Intensive Treatment Unit are referred from the Michigan Department of Human Services, Wayne County Child and Family Services and other youth supervising programs. The crucial services offered from this safe space include housing, mental and physical health care, skill building, educational advancement and job preparation. These are basic needs that may be neglected in spaces that are otherwise considered unfit, or unsafe, for the child to exist – including their home and school.

Research has shown that LGBTQ youth and young adults, especially youth of color, are at an increased risk of victimization, rejection, physical and mental health concerns, academic challenges, substance abuse, HIV, living in the foster care system, juvenile justice facilities or on the streets.

The Family Support Model, developed by Dr. Caitlin Ryan and Dr. Rafael Diaz, provides prevention and care services to “increase family acceptance and support, reduce risk and promote well-being, while increasing placement stability for LGBTQ children, youth, and caregivers, and works to reunify birth families with their children.” The profound impact of this project has been recognized on local, regional, and national scales and its implementation is also supported by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) and the Federal Administration for Children and Families.

To learn more about the Family Acceptance Project and the effects they’ve had on families of varying backgrounds, award-winning short documentaries are available here.

To learn more about the Ruth Ellis Center and their impact on the LGBTQ+ youth, visit their website here.











Quotes and information were kindly provided by the REC and the FAP

How trauma effects children’s brain development

The experiences children have during the beginning of their lives shapes who they become. Healthy brain development during these formative years is essential to equipping children with the coping skills they will need throughout their lives. Children who experience trauma are exposed to toxic stress which can have a long-lasting impact on brain development. These traumatic events, such as extreme poverty, repeated abuse, and neglect impact a child’s sense of well-being and can lead to harmful behaviors later in life. The most damaging of these events are categorized as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs are linked to risky behaviors and chronic health conditions, but the most common effects of these traumatic experiences are divorce and economic hardship.

Almost half of the children in Michigan have had exposure to at least one adverse family experience. The stress children experience during traumatic events is also linked to the mental wellness of the adults in the child’s home, so the entire family must be treated. The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is committed to supporting organizations in our area to make access to mental health care services more available and affordable.

By partnering with organizations such as:

Detroit Police / Detroit Public Safety Foundation– Children in Trauma Intervention Camp

Care House of Oakland County – Breaking the Cycle of Abuse Program

Beaumont Health System – River Rouge H.S. Beaumont Teen Health Center

The Foundation also supports 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.

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 was surrounded on the role the internet plays on a child’s mental health.

Dr. David Rosenberg, the 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