children s ’ about

Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Thankful for
Festival of Trees
25 Years
in Healthy
is a
Dear Friends,
This has been an extraordinary year at the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan. I am thankful
that you have chosen to be a part of it. We
are so fortunate to have such a caring donor
community as gifts from donors like you are
more important now than ever before.
Philanthropy has played a significant role
in our hospital since its inception. In 1886,
Dr. Charles Devendorf and a group of
prominent Detroit women founded the
Children’s Free Hospital Association which
later became the Children’s Hospital of
Michigan. As a result of their vision and
philanthropy, we have been able to help
the children in our region and around the
world for more than 123 years. We are
pleased to count you among those who
played an important role in our history.
Philanthropic support is key to helping us achieve the greatest of victories – making a
child who is sick well again. Without your dedication, our physicians might not be able to
conduct pioneering research which impacts children’s health worldwide, our nurses might
not have the tools necessary to care for their patients, and our patients might not have
pleasant surroundings in which to heal.
Please consider making a year-end contribution to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan
as your gift will help us prepare for the challenging work we will face in the new year
and enable us to provide the very best health care to the children of our community.
You may use the enclosed reply envelope, visit us at, or call our
Development Office at (313) 745-5373.
On behalf of the patients and families we serve, I thank you for your continued
generosity. I am very grateful for your dedication to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan,
where all we know and everything we do is just for them.
Please accept our best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season.
Herman B. Gray, M.D., M.B.A.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
About Children’s is a
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Development Office publication.
Herman B. Gray, M.D., M.B.A.
Vice President, Development
Patrick R. Kelly
Managing Editor
Rosemary Tokatlian
Editorial Staff
Ellen D. Burnett
Sarah E. McCallum
Cynthia K. Rowell
Sarah L. Spradlin
Saudia L. Twine
Jodi L. Wong
Feature Writers
Marti Benedetti
Sheila M. Edwards
Marcy Hayes
Todd Schulz
Design and Printing
Grigg Graphic Services
Donna Terek
Medical Photography Department
Detroit Medical Center
is a cool kid
Table of
Teen finds success in
eating healthy
Family thankful for
Children’s Hospital
orthopedic staff
sets sights high
Festival of Trees
celebrates 25 years
For more information or to make a donation, please contact:
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Development Office
3901 Beaubien • Detroit, MI 48201-2196
Office: (313) 745-5373
Fax: (313) 993-0119 Web:
General Hospital Information: (313) 745-KIDS (5437)
Teen finds success in eating healthy
Cierra’s 2007 school photo
About Children’s
Winter 2009
f it was up to Children’s Hospital of
Michigan’s Outpatient Dietitian Anne
Van Wagoner, R.D. school lunch
programs would be revamped to
provide healthier food choices and
mandatory physical education would be
reinstated in Michigan.
Van Wagoner sees too many obese
children who are prone to a variety of
health issues including asthma, insulin
resistance, type 2 diabetes, obstructive
sleep apnea, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and depression.
“School lunch programs offer few healthy
foods for our kids. When you look closely
at their menus, many of their lunches
resemble typical fast foods: corn dogs,
cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken patty
sandwiches, tacos, pizza, chicken tenders,”
says Van Wagoner who provides outpatient
nutrition counseling for parents and children. “Since physical education isn’t mandatory in Michigan, many schools only offer
gym classes once or twice a week, and some
do not offer it at all.”
But among the over 420 obese patients
Van Wagoner has counseled at Children’s
Hospital, one of her favorite success stories
is 15-year-old Cierra Boyd of Detroit. With
unwavering willpower and healthy eating,
Cierra lost 64 pounds and her body mass
index (BMI) decreased from 40.9 to 29.0.
The 4-foot, 11-inch teen weighed 215
pounds in June 2008. She had acanthosis
nigricans, a skin marker of insulin resistance –
which is common in 85 to 90 percent of
obese children. Diagnosed with asthma
By Marti Benedetti
as an infant, she was hospitalized for it
many times.
Her mother, Diann Jackson Boyd, says
Cierra was born prematurely because she
was jarred in a car accident. So the baby
started life smaller than normal but healthy.
They have been part of the Children’s
Hospital maternal lifestyle program,
which meant regular visits to the hospital.
Between 6 and 7 years of age, Cierra
began gaining weight.
“As she got older, kids were making fun
of her, telling her she was fat and calling
her names,” Boyd says. “At that point I was
getting chubby too and was diagnosed with
type 2 diabetes. I did not want her to need
insulin like me.”
Cierra was referred to Van Wagoner by
the maternal lifestyles program at Children’s
Hospital. Under her guidance, Boyd began
modifying her daughter’s diet. The motherdaughter team worked diligently to learn
to read labels and pay attention to calories,
Boyd says.
Foods such as fries, hot dogs, ramen
noodles and pizza were eliminated from
Cierra’s diet. She stopped drinking fruit
juices and soft drinks. She began eating
salad with low-fat cheese and light ranch
dressing for dinner. She eats high fiber
foods and prefers to eat water-packed tuna
in place of fried foods. Boyd says a tip for
successful weight loss is to prepare food that
is healthy but also well liked by the child.
Knowing Cierra loves chicken, tuna, tilapia,
fruit, broccoli, spinach and carrots, Boyd
buys and serves those foods.
At a rate of losing nine to ten pounds
a month during eight months, the ninth
grader melted to 151 pounds by early
October. She’s gone from a size 22 or 24
to a junior 11 or 13 and she has not been
hospitalized for asthma since she started
losing weight.
“She is doing so well because she is very
self-motivated and has great support from
her mother,” Van Wagoner says. “People
have many misconceptions about foods
and beverages. Many fruit juices have
more calories than soft drinks. Kids
should drink more water and low-fat
milk, and eat high fiber breads and cereals
along with more fruits and vegetables.
Condiments such as ranch dressing and
BBQ sauce add many calories.”
“Just changing your diet is not enough;
exercise is essential,” says Van Wagoner.
“Parents should limit sedentary activities
such as watching TV and playing video
games to two hours or less daily as
recommended by the American Academy
of Pediatrics.”
Since Cierra has dramatically changed
her eating habits and lost weight, her
asthma and allergies have disappeared, and
she feels better overall. “Before I was out of
breath all the time and didn’t feel like doing
anything. I was tired,” Cierra says. “Now I
feel good, energetic and not sleepy. I can do
everything I want to do.”
She adds that the most challenging part of
her new eating regimen is going to a store
or restaurant, seeing the foods she loves and
eating something healthy instead. “I still
crave pizza and Snickers,” she says. But she
says she won’t be deterred from reaching
her weight goal.
“I didn’t think she had the willpower to do
this. I thought she’d sneak food,” Boyd says.
“But she is motivated by how good she looks.
Everybody is in shock at her weight loss.”
Cierra looks and
feels great today
because she changed
her diet to include
healthier foods.
To learn more about how to support Outpatient
Pediatric Nutrition Counseling at the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan, please call
(313) 745-5373 or visit
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 3
Sinai Guild gift will help reduce risk
associated with heart surgeries
Henry Walters, III, M.D.
About Children’s
Winter 2009
hen surgeons are repairing
young patients’ hearts, they
also want to protect their
Thanks to a generous gift, the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan has the cutting-edge
technology to help its cardiovascular team
do the job.
The Sinai Guild, a
fundraising arm of the
Detroit Medical Center,
recently donated nearly
$35,000 to purchase
a Cerebral/Somatic
Oximeter system that’s
used during pediatric
heart surgeries.
Children born
with congenital heart
defects often need
open-heart surgery,
which requires them
to be placed on
If an insufficient
amount of blood or
oxygen flows to the
brain during bypass,
the patient could
suffer neurological
damage. Unfortunately,
complications can occur undetected.
“Bypass is an unnatural state,” said Henry
Walters, III, M.D., chief of cardiovascular
surgery. “The bypass machine serves as
a heart substitute, pumping oxygenated
By Todd Schulz
blood to the body. But the body’s response
is unpredictable and follows different physiological principles than we normally see.”
The Cerebral/Somatic Oximeter system
is designed to detect low oxygen or
blood-flow levels in the patient’s brain and
immediately alert surgeons, who can take
corrective steps to avoid brain damage.
“We have no other way of doing that
effectively,” Walters said. “Before, we had
no way of even knowing there might be
a problem.”
The non-invasive system is a critical
upgrade for the 200 or so infants and
children who undergo open-heart surgery
each year at Children’s Hospital, including
six to 10 who receive heart transplants.
“The Sinai Guild is so pleased we can
make this state-of-the-art technology available to all the children of metro Detroit,”
said Rusty Rosman, president of the Sinai
Guild. “Open-heart surgery is so frightening
for the parents. We’re glad we can help their
children at these precarious times.”
Children’s Hospital now has two Cerebral/
Somatic Oximeter systems for its operating rooms, the first which was donated by
Georges Harik, Ph.D. Plans also include
using the machines for post-surgical care in
intensive care units.
“Anything we can do to optimize oxygen
levels in the brain and the body overall
during surgical repair will minimize
damage to the brain during cardiopulmonary bypass,” Walters said. “That’s a
worthy goal.”
Dolls are more than child’s play at
Children’s Hospital
olls can be more than just
playthings at the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan. With
help from Eloquest Healthcare
Inc., special dolls are being used as
teaching tools by the child life specialists
in nearly every department.
The dolls, outfitted with overlays, allow
specialists to impart lessons about illnesses
and treatments to young patients who
absorb more information with less
anxiety than they would with a more
formal presentation. The wide variety
of medical overlays attach like Velcro to
slightly fuzzy dolls and provide realistic
examples of medical procedures.
“Having the dolls and overlays lets us
familiarize our patients with their illness
and diagnosis in a non-threatening way,”
explains Tiffany Wing, C.C.L.S., who
works in the hospital’s Burn, Surgery and
Rehabilitation departments. “It’s especially
helpful if it is the child’s first hospital visit.
By showing and modeling what they will be
going through, the specialist can help them
with any apprehensions and offer coping
techniques so they’re less scared.”
The overlays, at about $100 apiece, were
a perfect fit when the Chief Operating
Officer of Ferndale-based Eloquest asked
how his firm might help Children’s
Hospital. “Eloquest Healthcare’s mission is
to support compassion and caring in the
practice of medicine,” said Tim O’Halla,
“and anything we can do to increase a
child’s comfort level during treatment is
right up our alley.”
By Marcy Hayes
Eloquest is a new dermatological
specialty company serving hospitals. The
overlays were its first philanthropic gift to
the hospital – but not its last.
A month after making the $1,500
contribution, O’Halla asked the company’s
operations program assistant, Michelle
Dobies, to coordinate a team-building
exercise for a national sales meeting.
Dobies suggested that corporate teams
build two dollhouses.
After a few hours of building – figuratively
and literally – a team of seven Eloquest
Healthcare staffers delivered the houses to
an elated group of Children’s Hospital of
Michigan patients, employees and volunteers.
Eloquest Healthcare staff also donated furniture and a family for each of the houses. The
fully furnished dollhouses now provide lots of
fun for children in the hospital’s playrooms.
“We toured the hospital and saw first-hand
the impact the overlay donation made,”
O’Halla said. “I was so pleased to be able
to do it. When Michelle made the recommendation to build the houses, it was
natural for us to donate them to Children’s
The Eloquest team
delivered two dollhouses
to the patients at
Children’s Hospital
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 5
Adopt-a-Family donors help families
in need celebrate
Members of the Ladies
Philoptochos Society at
Assumption Greek Orthodox
Church are annual
Adopt-a-Family donors.
hildren’s Hospital of Michigan
Clinical Social Worker Janet C.
Nunn, M.S.W., L.M.S.W., has
watched custodial grandparents
of sick children spend the last penny of
their social security check buying holiday
gifts for the kids and then not be able to
pay the rent.
“They just wanted to make sure that
the kids had a traditional celebration,
just like every other kid,” she said as she
explained why she founded the Adopt-aFamily program in 1992. Assisting families
in need has been a rewarding experience
for donors. In addition, several families who
were once recipients have given back by
either adopting a family or giving donations.
By Sheila M. Edwards
Last year, more than 300 families were
assisted by Adopt-a-Family donors, which
included corporations, church groups, small
businesses, families, Girl and Boy Scout
troops as well as individuals. Every family
has different needs, so donors can decide
which family fits their giving profile.
“In October, I already had donors calling me to see what we need and how they
can help. Lots of our contributors do this
every year,” reported Nunn. “This program
would not be possible without the generosity of our donors and volunteers.”
To learn more about how to support the Adopta-Family program, please call (313) 745-5281.
Snowpile brings holiday spirit to
Children’s Hospital patients
eing in the hospital is never “fun”
especially if you’re a kid and you’re
away from your family and loved
ones during the holidays. It can
be a difficult and unhappy time.
“But if you’re ‘lucky’ enough to be a kid
at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan
during the holidays, you get to share
in Snowpile,” grins Deanna Scanlon,
C.T.R.S., child life projects specialist at
the hospital.
Snowpile is made possible by generous
donations from many individuals and
groups who provide new, unwrapped gifts
for children from tykes to teens. “Toys, gift
About Children’s
Winter 2009
By Sheila M. Edwards
cards, games, books and stuffed animals
are all needed,” says Scanlon.
Using these items, Children’s Hospital
staff and volunteers create a shop – one
that literally contains a Snowpile of toys –
in which family members of hospitalized
children are invited to select gifts for the
child and their siblings. Shhh…Snowpile’s
existence is kept secret from the kids, but
spread the word to help put some joy into
a holiday stay at the Children’s Hospital of
To learn more about how to donate to
Snowpile, call (313) 745-5364 or visit
Auxiliary holiday cards give joy twice
et it snow!” You can almost hear the
joyful shriek of the child catching
snowflakes on his tongue as you open
this year’s Children’s Hospital of
Michigan Auxiliary holiday card showing a
happy child with his arms outstretched in
the falling snow.
The Auxiliary has supported the hospital
for nearly 60 years and has offered holiday
cards for sale for more than 40 of those
years. “We take great pride in the fact that
we have a longstanding history of helping the young patients and their families,”
said Fran Eldis, Ph.D., Auxiliary president.
The Auxiliary provides funding for special
projects, “Those needs that aren’t covered
in typical operating and capital budgets,”
explained Eldis.
Over the years, the Auxiliary has provided funding for equipment and services
that improved the comfort and safety of
Children’s Hospital patients and their families. Items funded include: nebulizers for
asthmatic children and blood pressure cuffs
for renal patients who could not afford
them; SNUG suits for children with
neuromuscular disorders; amplification
equipment for newly identified hearingimpaired infants; clinical genetics services;
therapeutic summer day camp; equipment
for the pediatric intensive care unit; and
even waiting room furniture.
Now the organization has pledged
$1 million over ten years toward the hospital’s multi-million dollar capital campaign
to renovate existing facilities and build a
new Pediatric Specialty Center across the
street from the current hospital.
By Sheila M. Edwards
“Now, more than ever, we need the support we get through holiday card sales as
well as sales in our Something
Special Gift Shop,” said Eldis.
Purchasing holiday cards from the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan Auxiliary
gives joy twice by supporting programs
at the hospital and to those who receive
them. Cards are $20 for a pack of 20 cards.
The inside of the card reads: “Capture the
Joy this holiday season.”
Cards may be purchased online at or at the
Something Special Gift Shop located in
the main lobby at the Children’s Hospital
of Michigan. Cards are also available at
Festivities in Birmingham. For more
information, contact the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan Auxiliary office
at (313) 745-0962.
Sales from the
Children’s Hospital
of Michigan Auxiliary
2009 holiday card
will raise money
to support patient
programs at the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 7
Vellmure family’s love for helping
children results in many gifts
leanore and Harry Vellmure
always felt it was their responsibility to help others in need,
especially children. They instilled
the importance of giving to their three
children, who have passed it on to their
children and grandchildren.
The result of the couple’s generosity
is the Harry F. and Eleanore Vellmure
Family Foundation, which has given
generously to the Children’s Hospital of
Michigan. The money has helped pay for
an ECMO machine used in cardiac surgery
for infants, to support the Child Life
program that provides a clean room for
children with
and cooling
blankets for
infants, which
has proven
to reduce many
of the conditions associated
with premature
birth such as
cerebral palsy.
“My mother
set up the foundation about
nine years ago,
and Children’s
Hospital was at
Harry and Eleanore Vellmure
About Children’s
Winter 2009
By Marti Benedetti
the top of the list. She felt it was a solid
organization,” says Elizabeth Garey, the
couple’s daughter who lives in St. Joseph,
Mich. “Both my parents were philanthropic
but very humble. They never looked for
Harry was an attorney and Eleanore
a homemaker. Eleanore started and ran
the foundation after Harry died in 1985.
Eleanore died at age 92 in June 2009. The
family now is in discussion about how the
foundation will be handled in the future.
“At dad’s funeral, we found out about
some of the things he did to help people in
need, whether it was giving them money
or free legal services. Friends and strangers
alike thanked us for his generosity,” Garey
says. “This giving spirit had inspired me
and my brothers.”
Tim Vellmure of Grosse Ile, one of
Garey’s brothers, says his parents believed
in giving first to local organizations such
as Children’s Hospital. “She and my father
were advocates for children.”
While Tim has no children, his brother
Fred of Riverview has six and Elizabeth
has three. Now there are 16 great-grandchildren.
“All the family members are the same
way: they work hard and believe in giving
generously,” Tim says.
To learn more about how to support
the Children’s Hospital of Michigan,
please call (313) 745-5373 or visit
Lectureship for Excellence in Pediatric
Anesthesia honors Dr. Abboy Mohan
r. Abboy Mohan has been gone
for more than two years now,
but not only does his influence linger in the anesthesiology
department at the Children’s Hospital of
Michigan, his name has become part of
his former team’s routine.
Daily, physicians and staff refer to a
procedure developed by Mohan whose
former colleagues liked, admired and
clearly will never forget him: “Did you
remember to Mohan-tape the ET tube?”
The same staffers are helping carry on
Mohan’s name and work through the
creation of The Abboy Mohan, M.D.
Endowed Lectureship for Excellence
in Pediatric Anesthesia.
Mohan was the hospital’s Medical
Director of the Operating Room before
he died of lung cancer in September 2007.
Colleagues say his mere presence was
enough to put a surgeon at ease, and his
dedication to the people and patients of
Children’s Hospital was absolute. He would
stay at work for hours on end if it appeared
he might be needed.
Children’s Hospital Chief of
Anesthesiology Maria Zestos, M.D.
remembers Mohan as a mentor,
a colleague and a friend. “Dr.
Mohan taught me the value of
leading by example. He gave his
all to everything he did,” she says.
Today, Zestos inspires colleagues
in his stead, with her energetic
personality and the skills she
learned at his side.
By Marcy Hayes
Zestos and her team of more than 40
doctors, nurses and clinicians have combined to honor Mohan through the annual
lectureship, which will allow the hospital to
host national speakers who are experts in
the field of anesthesiology.
In a telling and impressive display of
devotion, 2009 marks the third year in a
row that 100 percent of the physicians have
made a personal contribution to the fund.
While Zestos shares the credit for the idea
of creating the endowment with her entire
team, Ellen Burnett, director of major
gifts for the hospital, knows Zestos is its
driving force. “Dr. Zestos leads by example,
inspiring people to donate,” Burnett says.
“She gives her time, energy and passion to
her staff, patients and, in this case, to
Dr. Mohan’s memory.”
Burnett says Zestos’ team members have
come together like a family – which is
perfectly appropriate, since that’s the way
Mohan always thought of them.
To learn more about how to support the
Abboy Mohan, M.D. Endowed Lectureship
for Excellence in Pediatric Anesthesia,
please call (313) 745-5373 or visit
Abboy Mohan, M.D.
Back row:
Drs. Ahmed, Rajan,
Durgham, Kaminski,
D’Augustine, Wu
Front row:
Drs. Jwaida, Kemper,
Stricker, Zestos,
Talpesh, Gall, Pascual
Not pictured:
Drs. Amin, Bhattacharya,
Buch, Skrzypek, Thomas
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 9
After all this time, Testa family still
thankful for Children’s Hospital
ne could hardly blame
members of the Testa family
for not recognizing much of
their surroundings on
recent visits to the Children’s Hospital
of Michigan.
The facility, after all, has changed
dramatically in the more than 30 years
since Marilyn Testa brought her two
young boys there for treatment that forever
shaped their lives.
But time hasn’t altered the memories
of a mother who watched her sons,
Michael and David, get the help they
desperately needed. In fact, Marilyn
Testa’s gratitude has only grown
over the decades.
“I owe their lives to Children’s
Hospital,” she said. “We’re so grateful.”
Today, Michael Testa, 33, and his
brother, David, 31, are both doing
well. Michael is an engineer with
a wife and two children. David is
a purchasing agent. Both brothers
work in the auto industry.
But the picture might be different
if not for the care they received at
Children’s Hospital.
Born five weeks premature,
Michael was treated for congenital
heart defects. At 13 months old, he
underwent surgery to patch a hole
and place a shunt in his heart.
“At the time, I remember my
husband (Salvatore) calling Johns
Brothers David and Michael Testa
at Michael’s wedding October 2005.
10 About Children’s
Winter 2009
By Todd Schulz
Hopkins and other hospitals all over the
country,” Marilyn said. “But we didn’t have
to go anywhere. There was a world-famous
cardiovascular surgeon right in our backyard.”
That surgeon, Eduardo Arciniegas, M.D.,
pioneered the surgical procedure used to
patch Michael’s heart.
Arciniegas, a cutting-edge thinker, later
designed a pediatric operating table
customized for smaller patients. Marilyn
Testa and her husband teamed with about
30 other parents to establish the Ticker
Club, a fundraising group that supports
the hospital’s cardiology care.
The Ticker Club helped pay to build two
of Arciniegas’ tables, which are tailored
to patients under 48 inches tall and allow
surgeons to stand closer, providing a better
view and a more ergonomic reach.
Both pediatric operating tables have
been refurbished and are still in use today
at Children’s Hospital.
“Think of how many lives they have
saved,” Marilyn Testa said. “A lot of
hard-working people pitched in to make
that happen.”
The Testas stayed in contact with the
now-retired Arciniegas, who even attended
Michael’s wedding.
But that wasn’t the family’s only
experience with Children’s Hospital.
David Testa was also born premature, in
his case by 10 weeks. As a result, his lungs
weren’t fully developed and he required
three surgeries to correct serious intestinal
problems, including one to connect
the large and small intestines.
In June, David Testa had the
chance to return to Children’s
Hospital for the first time since he
received care as a young boy.
“If not for Children’s Hospital
and the doctors at the time, my
life could have turned out much
differently,” he said. “Knowing the
hospital is still there and growing
and expanding so other people can
department; it’s so high-tech now. It’s
have the same opportunity I did is just
very impressive.”
The Testas are one of countless families
During his visit, David Testa met Seetha
touched by the high-quality care at Children’s
Shankaran, M.D., one of the doctors who
Hospital. Thirty years ago, they were simply
cared for him during his stay. Shankaran is
scared parents with sick kids. But they’ve
the hospital’s director of Neonatal-Perinatal
been able to watch their children – including
Medicine and a professor of pediatrics at
daughters Romamaria and Mariann – grow
Wayne State University.
and have families of their own.
“It was inspiring,” he said. “I was absolutely
It’s a blessing Marilyn Testa refuses to
impressed with the facility and I met quite a
take for granted.
few doctors who were there during the time
“We’re so grateful,” she said. “Now and
that I received care. It was a blessed opportuthen, we still look at the old photos. We
nity. I’m extremely grateful for the care and
cherish them because the boys have been
the time they provided to me.”
healthy and they’ve both been able to lead
Marilyn and Salvatore Testa also recently
full lives.”
returned to the hospital where their sons
spent so much time in their earliest days.
To learn more about how to support NeonatalMarilyn, who had not been to Children’s
Perinatal Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of
since the late 1970s, was overwhelmed by
Michigan, please call (313) 745-5373 or visit
the way technology has transformed one of
the country’s top pediatric care facilities.
“Obviously, it’s vastly changed,” she
said. “The new advances in the cardiology
David pictured with
Seetha Shankaran,
M.D., one of the
doctors who cared
for him when he
was a patient
in the Neonatal
Intensive Care
Unit at Children’s
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 11
Feature – NICU
His parents’ love and Children’s Hospital are
the greatest of Spencer’s gifts
pencer Gray loves what he used to
hate and embraces what he used to
fear. It’s been a remarkable 18-year
journey, and without the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan, he might never have
embarked on the first steps.
But Marguerite Gray of Imlay City, now
43, was late into her second pregnancy
when bladder spasms
sent her to the
hospital. To her
surprise – and
alarm – a complication necessitated an
emergency C-section.
It was only the first
of many perilous
moments in
Spencer’s life.
She had barely
glimpsed at him
before he was
whisked to Children’s
Hospital, life-saving tubes and wires seemingly everywhere. Her husband, Rev. Robert
L. Gray, Sr., was warned
that Spencer’s lungs had
collapsed and his chances
of living through the night
were poor.
By that point, however,
Children’s Hospital nurses
had given Marguerite
reason for hope. Transport
team members had snapped
Polaroids for her to keep,
Spencer as a baby.
Spencer and his dad,
Rev. Robert L. Gray, Sr.
12 About Children’s
Winter 2009
By Marcy Hayes
assuring her as they left that Spencer was in
loving and competent hands.
Over the next five days, her husband
and Spencer’s nurses dialed her hospital
room with regular updates.
All Marguerite knew was that she was
being treated like family. “They would say,
‘Hi mom, this is Spencer’s nurse,’ and tell
me how he was doing,” she says. “Calling
me mom, not Mrs. Gray, reassured me
somehow that he was getting the best
possible care – that they cared as much
as I did.”
While no one had said anything
specific to her about Spencer’s condition,
Marguerite felt trepidation as she entered
the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the
first time. To her great relief, the ventilator
she had been told was keeping Spencer
alive had been removed. Spencer seemed
to be making progress.
Optimism was short-lived as seven days
after his release, Spencer returned to the
hospital, starting a pattern that would
continue throughout his first year.
“As a baby, Spencer hated movement.
Rocking back and forth or riding in the car
seat made him hysterical. And he couldn’t
stand most textures,” Marguerite says. “He
was bottle-fed until he was 10 months. We
said to ourselves, okay, something is just
wrong.” Spencer babbled a bit but didn’t
speak until he was 2 ½, and even then
his long, drawn-out consonants were
reminiscent of someone with hearing loss.
For his first few years the Grays took
Spencer to numerous community
physicians where the appointments were
brief and diagnoses vague. It wasn’t until
Spencer was three or four, enrolled in the
Macomb Intermediate School District
program that he began to see a speech
therapist. When she suggested that Spencer’s
poor language skills were a symptom of
bigger problems, the Grays sought answers
at Children’s Hospital.
Today, Spencer attends
Specs Howard School
of Broadcast Arts.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 13
Spencer is a big Red Wings fan!
They took Spencer to see Patricia M.
Moylan, Ph.D., a pediatric neuropsychologist. “Dr. Moylan was awesome,”
Marguerite says. She and the other
doctors at Children’s Hospital “spent
quality time with us. There weren’t any
5- or 10-minute appointments. In fact,
some were three hours.”
At various points, Spencer had been
diagnosed with mental impairments,
autism and finally Asperger’s syndrome.
The Grays had been told that he would
face many developmental challenges. Dr.
Moylan suggested cognitive therapies and
the Grays immersed him in every sort.
“I hated to have things touch my feet,”
remembers Spencer, “so they put me in
those ball pits at the mall. I screamed my
head off.” Eventually Spencer learned to
deal with the sensations, controlling the
regular outbursts they brought about.
Growing up, Spencer inherited his
father’s love for computers and technology,
as well as his robust sense of humor. After
graduating on time with the Imlay City
High School Class of 2009, it seemed
natural that he enroll in Southfield’s Specs
Howard School of Broadcast Arts.
“My father had this collection of old
radio shows, 1940’s murder mysteries,
Jack Benny, thousands of them,” says
Spencer, 18. “We listened to them every
Sunday. I couldn’t stand it.
“After my father died, I took a digital
media arts class and had an amazing
teacher. I fell in love with video, and
then audio.”
It is, he concedes, ironic. Sight and
sound, two of the very senses that once
made him wild, are the basis of his
intended profession. The truth is, Spencer
says, he was too young to remember most
of the time he spent at Children’s Hospital
of Michigan. But its influence will clearly
never leave him.
To learn more about how to support the
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan,
please call (313) 745-5373 or visit
Spencer’s graduation picture.
Photo courtesy of Lifetime Photography
14 About Children’s
Winter 2009
and hundreds
of others benefit
from being cooled
as newborns
By Marti Benedetti
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 15
Jacques is a healthy boy
today thanks to a research
project led by the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan.
Feature – NICU
lmost eight years ago, Jacques
Poussier was in distress, and the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
was in the midst of a research
study to determine if cooling the core body
temperature of unresponsive newborns cut
their risk of disability or death.
As a result of his involvement in that
crucial study, Jacques is a healthy, energetic young boy who turned 8 years old in
December. The five-year study he participated in proved that cooling newborns
in trouble prevents death or disability by
nearly 50 percent.
“Jacques is a very outgoing, talkative
Jacques and sister Elisabeth
16 About Children’s
Winter 2009
fun seeker,” says his mother Alexa. “He
likes to explore new things -- from karate
to ice skating. He can play outdoors for
hours at a time, amusing himself with
various activities.”
By Marti Benedetti
Most importantly, he has no health
issues that keep him from pursuing all of
these activities. The Rochester Hills secondgrader who “excels in school” has been
going to Children’s Hospital once a year
so his medical records could be updated
for the research study, Alexa says. He
meets with Seetha Shankaran, M.D., the
hospital’s director of Neonatal-Perinatal
Medicine and lead researcher of the
groundbreaking national study.
The study was conducted through
Wayne State University, site of the
National Institutes of Child Health and
Development Neonatal Research Network
at Children’s Hospital of Michigan
and Hutzel Women’s Hospital.
Research took place from 2000
to 2005 in cooperation with 15
other hospitals nationwide. The
treatment relied on the same
physical reactions to cold observed
in hypothermia and drowning
victims who have survived long
periods without oxygen while
immersed in cold water. Cooling
was administered to the babies
with a temperature-controlled
Of the 208 babies in the study,
all suffering from a lack of oxygen
within the first six hours of birth,
102 received cooling; 106 did not.
“There was a significant difference in disability between
the cooled infants and those
not cooled,” says Shankaran who is also
a professor of pediatrics at Wayne State
University. “We saw 15 children, or 19
percent, with cerebral palsy in the cooled
group compared with 19 children, or 30
percent, in the group that was not cooled.
We have been following all the children that
participated in our study through age 7.”
The results of the study have been
published in the New England Journal
of Medicine.
Shankaran adds that studies in this area
continue. Recently, a whole body cooling
study in the United Kingdom was published
that showed cooled infants have a higher
chance of surviving without disabilities.
A new study will begin next year to see if
cooling the newborns further and longer
produces even more positive outcomes.
The cooling process has become
common practice for newborns with
certain difficulties in major hospitals and
academic centers. Cooling decreases the
metabolic rate of the brain and decreases
the production of a number of toxic
substances that cause injuries. Cooling
also prevents brain cells from swelling,
which produces cell damage.
Jacques was born in December 2001 with
his umbilical cord wrapped twice around his
neck, cutting off blood flow and oxygen to
his brain. Within a couple of hours he was
transported to the Neonatal Intensive Care
Unit at Children’s Hospital, where the
cooling study was under way.
For three days after birth, Jacques’ body
temperature was kept at 92.3 degrees
Fahrenheit – about six degrees cooler than
normal – due to a condition called hypoxic
ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or
deprivation of oxygen and blood flow to the
brain. Newborns with HIE may not survive
or they may develop cerebral palsy, mental
retardation, blindness or hearing loss. About
two weeks later, he came home.
“From age 18 months until 6 years old,
the hospital did extensive
(physical and mental)
exams on Jacques,” Alexa
says. “During all of it, the
Children’s Hospital staff
was wonderful to him and
to us. The doctors never
scared him; they always
made him feel comfortable.
He still feels that way there.”
Today, Jacques is a happy boy
who enjoys hanging out with
and talking to all kinds
of people – from his
5-year-old sister Elisabeth
to older kids and adults
in his neighborhood.
And his parents, Alexa
and Antoine, will never
forget and will always
be thankful to Children’s
Hospital for the outstanding care their son
got at the most vulnerable
stage of his life.
To learn more about how
to support NeonatalPerinatal Medicine research
conducted at the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan,
please call (313) 745-5373 or
Jacques and Elisabeth like
being silly sometimes.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 17
Feature – NICU
Newborns can be transported, treated via
specially equipped helicopter
Panda One Intensive Care
Transport Team
18 About Children’s
Winter 2009
he staff at the Children’s Hospital
of Michigan has improved their
transport medicine service and
can now more quickly treat and
transport even the tiniest patients to its
hospital from locations throughout
Michigan and beyond by air.
The hospital’s Panda One Intensive Care
Transport Team in conjunction with a
Midwest Med Flight-owned helicopter, has
recently added specialty equipment and
team members to handle critically ill
newborn patients. The helicopter has been
serving pediatric and adult patients for
several years but lacked the equipment
and specialty team members to care for
newborns. Children’s Hospital has the
only dedicated pediatric transport system
in the state.
Before the helicopter was equipped and
included support of the dedicated Panda
One team, it was not able to meet all the
medical needs of newborns. The smallest and sickest children were transported
to Children’s Hospital via the Panda One
ground ambulance team supported by
Detroit Medical Center Care Express.
About 80
percent of
the $20,000
cost of
the special
for the
came from
By Sheila M. Edwards
donors, says Brande Mazzeo, clinical
lead nurse with Panda One at Children’s
Hospital. “The donations allowed us to
purchase helmets and flight suits for the
transport team and patient equipment such
as high-frequency ventilators, stretchers and
incubators that provide a sterile, secure,
warm environment for transporting
newborns,” she says.
Children’s Hospital transports about
1,000 patients a year; half of those are
newborn patients, Mazzeo says. Ground
transport typically does not exceed 100
miles. Air travel can transport patients from
a distance of 200 miles or more.
Lauranne Gosses, Children’s Hospital
manager of the Neonatal Intensive Care
Unit and Panda One, says many of the
state’s community hospitals have maternity
departments but may not have the trained
team to handle newborns that are in
distress. “Newborns need intervention
fast. Because they are so fragile, they need
immediate specialized attention to improve
outcomes,” she adds.
Gosses has been pursuing this service
since she arrived at Children’s Hospital
more than two years ago. “This is an
exciting service that the Panda One team
has envisioned offering. We will be able to
have a couple of teams go out – by air and
ground – and better provide lifesaving care
in our community and our state.”
To learn more about how to support the
Panda One Intensive Care Transport Team
at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan,
please call (313) 745-5373 or visit
Nedelcoff appointed to Foundation Board
ewis J. Nedelcoff is the Managing
Director and Branch Manager of
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in
Bloomfield Hills and was recently
appointed to the Children’s Hospital of
Michigan Foundation Board of Trustees.
“The appointment to the Foundation’s
Board of Trustees and being honored in
2006 by the Association of Fundraising
Professionals Greater Detroit Chapter for
Children’s are the two greatest honors of my
life. I am looking forward to supporting the
objectives of the Board,” says Nedelcoff.
Nedelcoff’s philanthropic support of
the hospital dates back to 1999, when he
By Sheila M. Edwards
created two endowments: one in honor
of his mother and one in his name. The
endowments support the activities of the
Child Life Department. He personally
funded the endowments to ensure that the
important work of the Child Life Staff, who
is charged with providing emotional and
social support to thousands of children
battling life-threatening or chronic illness,
continues beyond our lifetimes.
“Another reason Children’s is so special is
the staff. They are absolutely dedicated to
the mission. I can’t say enough about them,”
Lewis J. Nedelcoff
says Nedelcoff.
Children’s Hospital sponsors nursing conference
ver 100 nursing professionals
recently came together for a
conference aimed at improving
the quality of nursing care.
At the fourth annual conference, attendees
heard presentations describing best
practices on topics ranging from how to
reduce the risk for infection in central line
IVs to nutrition strategies for childhood
obesity. The conference was sponsored by
the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and
The Center for Excellence in Pediatric
Nursing established by the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan Auxiliary.
“Evidence based practice has contributed
to excellent empirical outcomes in our
professional nursing practice,” said Rhonda
Foster, Ed.D., R.N., vice president of
By Sheila M. Edwards
Patient Care Services at the Children’s
Hospital. “It is key to maintaining
our Magnet designation, a highlyregarded recognition of excellence
in nursing care.”
The Magnet Recognition Program
was developed by the American
Nurses Credentialing Center to
recognize quality patient care,
nursing excellence and innovations
in nursing, and provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark of the
quality of care they can expect to receive.
Being designated a Magnet hospital puts
Children’s Hospital among 356 of the
world’s top hospitals for nursing excellence.
It is the highest honor that a hospital can
earn for nursing.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 19
Outstanding pediatric orthopedic staff
sets sights on joining nation’s best
Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon
Alfred Faulkner, D.O. and
happy patient Angela Grillo
20 About Children’s
Winter 2009
or more than two decades,
Kathleen Grillo has helped the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
deliver top-notch care to young
But Grillo, a medical technologist in
the blood bank at Detroit Medical Center
University Labs, recently saw her workplace from a new perspective.
Grillo’s 6-year-old daughter, Angela,
broke her left tibia in an all-terrain vehicle
accident on July 4, 2009.
“It looked like her shin was caved in,”
By Todd Schulz
Grillo said. “She just looked like a little
rag doll. She was scared to death.”
Angela was rushed to Children’s
Hospital, where orthopedic trauma surgeon Alfred Faulkner, D.O. treated the
injury. She spent two nights recovering at
the hospital before returning for regular
follow-up care, including physical therapy.
By mid-September, Angela’s leg was
completely healed and she hoped to return
to the soccer field.
After experiencing the patient’s point
of view, Grillo is even more proud of her
co-workers at Children’s Hospital, which
boasts a nationally recognized pediatric
orthopedic department.
“When you work somewhere so long…
you know how good the staff and the
service is there,” said Grillo of Macomb
Township. “But it’s really reinforced when
you actually have to utilize it. And it’s not
like we received special treatment. The
orthopedic department is just amazing.”
Though he appreciates the praise,
Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Orthopedics
Richard A.K. Reynolds, M.D. has even
bigger aspirations for the department.
“Our goal is to become one of the top 10
programs in the country,” said Reynolds.
Traumatic injuries such as the one
Angela Grillo suffered are the most
common way the majority of people are
exposed to the pediatric orthopedic
department, Reynolds said. But the
program boasts expertise for a range
of specialties, including spinal deformities,
sports injuries, bone tumors and clubfeet.
You name it, Reynolds and his fellow fulltime orthopedic surgeons – Walid K.Yassir,
M.D. and Eric T. Jones, M.D., Ph.D. –
have probably seen it.
“It’s never boring,” Reynolds said with
a chuckle. “The great thing about pediatric
orthopedics is that there’s such a wide
variety of cases and you’re working with
kids who often do extremely well. The
families and the kids are usually very
appreciative of how we can help them.
It’s a relatively happy specialty.”
The pediatric orthopedic team also
includes Faulkner; hand surgeon Joseph
Failla, M.D.; sports medicine specialists
Shelley V. Street, M.D. and Louise Aloe,
M.D.; and researcher Julie Legakis, Ph.D.
Together, they tackle a broad spectrum
of conditions, including:
• Trauma and fractures From playground
falls to sports injuries, they treat all sorts
of fractures. The goals are to control pain,
promote healing, prevent complications
and restore normal use of a fractured area.
• Clubfeet Yassir, in particular, is a
highly regarded practitioner of the Ponseti
Method for treating clubfeet. He uses noninvasive manipulative techniques including
stretching and casting to correct clubfeet
gradually, reducing pain and often helping
patients avoid surgery.
• Complex spine deformities With a
combined 50 years of experience, the staff
specializes in treating congenital, infantile,
juvenile and adolescent scoliosis and
kyphosis. The physicians also are experts
at treating spinal trauma and deformities
associated with congenital dwarfism.
• Musculoskeletal tumors Several
doctors are among the nation’s best at
treating both benign and malignant tumors,
whether they’re in the bones or soft tissue
of young patients.
• Sports medicine Children’s Hospital
provides surgical and non-surgical
treatment for young athletes who have
suffered sports injuries. Street and Aloe
work with coaches, trainers and athletes to
help prevent injuries and diagnose problems
when they occur. If necessary, they refer
athletes to Reynolds and the other
surgeons for care.
• Limb length discrepancy and bone
deformities The orthopedic team creates
cutting-edge, customized treatment plans
that protect limb growth, enabling children’s limbs to develop normally. The staff
understands pediatric growth potential and
has experience treating various causes of
limb length discrepancy, including previous
injuries, infection, bone disease, inflammation and neurological conditions.
Eventually, Reynolds would like to
expand the pediatric orthopedic department
to include six full-time surgeons. For now,
he’s focused on playing to the program’s
many strengths – including the support of
other specialists at one of the country’s top
children’s hospitals.
“Being part of the whole institution is a
big advantage,” Reynolds said. “We have
all the other pediatric specialties to back
us up. It’s all here. Patients don’t have to
go anywhere else. It’s really one-stop
To learn more about how to support the
Orthopedic Department at the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan, please call (313)
745-5373 or visit
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 21
Flinn Foundation receives prestigious
philanthropy honor
The Ethel and James Flinn
Foundation staff: Executive
Assistant Arnita M. Thorpe,
Executive Director and
CEO Andrea M. Cole, and
Chief Investment Officer
Leonard W. Smith.
22 About Children’s
Winter 2009
he Ethel and James Flinn
Foundation, a key partner of the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan,
recently garnered well-deserved
The Greater Detroit Chapter of the
Association of Fundraising Professionals
(AFP) honored the Flinn Foundation
with its Outstanding Foundation
Award for 2009. The award was presented in November in conjunction
with National Philanthropy Day.
Founded in 1976 by siblings
Ethel and James Flinn, the Detroitbased organization is committed to
improving and expanding care for
By Todd Schulz
mental illness.
The Flinn Foundation recently awarded
Children’s Hospital $375,000 as part of its
Integrated Care Initiative, a $3.4-million
effort to identify and treat the symptoms
of mental illness before they develop into
disabling disorders.
“Community mental health funding is
being cut at a time when the need for
services is growing in Michigan,” said
Andrea Cole, the foundation’s executive
director and CEO. “Partnering with
organizations like Children’s allows us to
provide access to much needed mental
health services for children, adolescents
and adults in our community.”
Project Challenge a
“safe haven” for children
and their families
By Marti Benedetti
ome individuals can be judgmental
and sometimes cruel when it comes
to discovering a person is HIV
positive or has AIDS. This is where
the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Project
Challenge can help.
Founded in 1998 by Children’s Hospital
clinical social worker Janet Nunn, M.S.W.,
L.M.S.W. and psychologists Sylvie
Naar-King, Ph.D. and Jill Meade, Ph.D.,
Project Challenge provides specialized
medical, social and psychological services
for children birth to 18 years old and their
families who are affected by HIV and AIDS.
It includes a monthly teen support group,
a mentoring program and therapeutic
recreational programs.
For Cindy Tobias’ son Josh, 16, Project
Challenge is a place that helps him deal
emotionally with HIV. “It provides a lot
of knowledge about HIV. It’s a friendly
place where I am not scared to talk about
how I feel,” he says.
Josh, a 4.0 student who swims and plays
tennis and soccer, says everyone who works
there is friendly, and he has some good
friends there. Even his twin sister, Nikki,
who is HIV negative, sometimes attends
the monthly meetings to support her
brother and the others. “We can talk freely
and not be judged,” Nikki adds.
Tobias, a Children’s Hospital pediatric
imaging nurse, and her partner Janet Ray
adopted Josh, Nikki and their three siblings
three years ago after the children’s mother
died. Josh was born with HIV but it was
not diagnosed until he turned four. He
takes a medication daily and has his blood
checked every two months, but overall is
healthy, Tobias says.
Project Challenge is fully funded by
donations and grants. Some of the funding comes from events such as a comedy
night, a bake sale or pledges from relay
teams in the Detroit Free Press/Flagstar
Marathon. Other sources of support for
Project Challenge include: Children’s
Hospital of Michigan Auxiliary, Srere
Women’s Care Fund, Broadway Cares –
Equity Fights AIDS, Youth Development
Commission, Michael Volante Pediatric
AIDS Endowment Fund, Michigan
Department of Community Health HIV/
AIDS Prevention and Intervention Section,
and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program,
Part D among others.
“We developed the program to not only
provide a safe haven,” Nunn says. “Our
mission is to help improve the quality of
life for children and families affected by
HIV and AIDS.”
Twins Nikki and Josh
are Project Challenge
To learn more about how to support Project
Challenge at the Children’s Hospital of
Michigan, please call (313) 745-5373 or
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 23
Children’s Hospital considers
patient who rocks CF a superstar
Emily Schaller throughout the
years and more recently
running her first half marathon
from Dexter to Ann Arbor, Mich.,
June 2008.
24 About Children’s
Winter 2009
ometimes there are perks to fighting cystic fibrosis, like having Ellen
DeGeneres hand you the pick that
Aerosmith’s Joe Perry just used to
play his guitar.
Mostly, there’s just more fighting. But
that’s okay with Emily Schaller, because
she’s in this battle for the long haul.
Her diagnosis at 18 months came with
a realistic assessment: she would most
likely die young. The Schallers weren’t
willing to settle for that, and neither
was their team of caregivers at the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Today, at 27, Schaller oversees the
Rock CF Foundation, an organization she founded to raise money for
the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and
ultimately Schaller’s plan is to provide music-oriented college scholarships for students with CF. The
Trenton resident is a runner, a musician, and an imaginative promoter
for the cause who recently traveled
from Detroit to Los Angeles on a
Vespa motor scooter in hopes of
adding DeGeneres to her team.
It was a long way geographically,
but not far removed philosophically
from how she was raised. Schaller
remembers a lot of coughing while
running on the playground, along
with a lot of medicines and therapy,
but she can’t recall being treated as
though she was sick.
For many CF patients, the condi-
By Marcy Hayes
tion all but eliminates physical activity, but
Schaller – who ran her first half-marathon
last year – believes her athleticism has
helped her maintain her health. She also
credits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and
the care she received at Children’s Hospital,
where “I was treated like family,” she says.
“The docs and nurses would stop in my
room to just chill and talk. I was there
sometimes for three to five weeks. The staff
was amazing at keeping me sane.”
Even as an outpatient, her routine
is grueling: upwards of 40 pills each day,
and multiple hours of therapy that includes
wearing a special vest to help loosen some
of the mucus relentlessly
clogging her lungs.
Twice a year, she checks into a hospital
for what she calls her “tune-up.” Among
the treatments are antibiotics designed to
treat lung infections and other potential
dangers. With an IV bag hanging at her
bedside, she spends the time working the
phones for her foundation and counseling
other patients.
The tune-ups are no longer done at
Children’s Hospital. Schaller graduated to
an adult clinic two years ago and remembers her last day of her final stay as one of
her saddest. “It was like divorcing 200 people,” she says, “but without being mad.”
By that point, she was a long-time
raiser of funds and awareness on behalf
of the national organization. She began by
participating in the Great Strides Walk and
continued to help spread the word, chairing
some youthfocused
and talking
to anyone
and everyone about
CF issues.
own Rock CF Foundation grew out of
another passion, rock ,n roll. She played
drums in a five-piece, all-girl band, Hellen,
and helped her older brother Jason promote
his own group, South Normal.
As much as she loved both parts of the
music business, neither felt like her future.
After producing a number of successful
rock concert fundraisers called Just Let Me
Breathe for CF, she formalized her efforts
and the Rock CF Foundation was born.
“I want to rock CF so hard,” she likes to
say, “that one day it will stand for ‘Cure
Found.’” Her personal tally so far is nearly
$200,000, raised through walks, marathons,
speaking engagements and, most recently,
the highly publicized road trip called Emily
2 Ellen 4 CF.
Schaller’s plan was to ride her bicycle from
Chicago to DeGeneres’ studio in Burbank,
Calif. Unfortunately, she injured an Achilles
tendon on a Detroit-to-Chicago ride a
month earlier.
Plan B was the sporty Vespa. Accompanied
by a support team and a publicity campaign
that included daily videos and
a CF Foundation Web page, Schaller set out
to appear with the woman she calls her
favorite celebrity.
Ultimately, DeGeneres singled
her out in the audience during a
commercial break, gave her the
rock legend’s guitar pick and
sent her family to dinner at a
tony LA restaurant. Schaller
didn’t get on the air, but she’s
not giving up.
She never does.
Above: Emily traveled
cross country on a
Vespa to meet Ellen
DeGeneres on her
highly publicized
road trip called
Emily 2 Ellen 4 CF.
Below: Emily plays
drums in a fivepiece, all-girl band
called Hellen. Photo
courtesy of Michael
Spleet, 2Snaps Up
Left Center: Justina Crawford from the Lululemon Athletica store in Chicago was on
hand to welcome Emily and three other riders in Grant Park at the conclusion
the 335-mile City to City Ride from Detroit to Chicago, August 2009.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 25
Giving back to Children’s Hospital of
Michigan is a labor of love
hrough her work with her church,
Gwendolyn Seay, R.N. knows
firsthand the impact every dollar
makes in the life of a child who is
sick. Through the Labor of Love Employee
Giving Campaign at the Children’s Hospital
of Michigan, she’s able to put some of those
dollars where they can do the most good.
Seay works
as a specialist
in the Clinical
Department, collaborating with selected
external local and
state agencies. She
identifies, monitors,
tracks and reports
quality improvement measures related to healthcare services that the staff at
Children’s Hospital
provides for patients
and their families.
The Detroiter
has been with the
hospital for more
than 40 years. The
majority of her time
was spent in the
Inpatient Nursing Department – and she’s
been donating to the hospital for more than
half that time.
Her hospital background makes her a
Gwendolyn Seay, R.N.
Toni, 4
26 About Children’s
Winter 2009
By Marcy Hayes
natural fit for the health task force at her
church, Sacred Heart. Two Sundays a
month, she volunteers her time to take
parishioners’ blood pressure.
For the past two years, the Children’s
Hospital Pediatric Mobile Team has come
to Sacred Heart to administer immunizations and make sure no one was in need of
further medical attention. Seay’s contributions, both to her church and the hospital,
resonate on multiple levels. Not only is she
helping people stay healthy, she’s helping
some of Detroit’s less fortunate to stay out
of the emergency room, which in turn helps
keep costs down for everyone.
While she has no children of her own,
Seay feels strongly about society’s youngest members. “No child should go without
medical help if they need it,” she says.
“I give to the hospital because I believe
in what they do.”
The campaign she generously supports
runs from late August through September
and is coordinated by hospital Development
Representative Michallene Hooper.
No matter the state of the economy,
Hooper says, employee giving has consistently increased. She tries to make her
reminders enjoyable; the weekly e-mail she
called the Riddler, for instance, offered
prizes. But “the people at Children’s
Hospital are so great,” she declares, “they
don’t need to be convinced to give.”
Gwendolyn Seay can attest to that – and
does, enthusiastically, every year.
Disney on Ice and Ringling Bros. Circus
support Children’s Hospital
By Rosemary Tokatlian
his fall Disney on Ice and Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey
Circus not only entertained families, but supported the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan as well. Each donated
$1 from tickets to a designated show. Disney on Ice even
donated an extra $1 per ticket because they sold more than 2,500
tickets. Additionally, Disney on Ice hosted a 100 Years of Magic party
for Children’s Hospital patients complete with a visit from Mickey
and Minnie Mouse, a photo session, and arts and crafts. A great time
was had by all!
Lisa Vlaeminck crowns her son, Harry, King for
a Day!
Tigers players Guillen and Inge know
how to Keep Kids in the Game
By Rosemary Tokatlian
etroit Tigers players Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge hosted Keeping
Kids in the Game July 9 at Comerica Park. The evening featured a behind
the scenes tour of the clubhouse and dug out, access to Tigers players, a
silent auction, a fireworks show and more. Presented by Hoot McInerney,
the event raised $44,000 for children’s health initiatives at the Children’s Hospital
of Michigan. The Detroit Tigers Foundation, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and
Fundacion Chamos Venezolanos, a charity established by Carlos and Amelia Guillen,
also benefited.
Sponsor Hoot McInerney with
Tigers third baseman Brandon
Inge in the locker room.
Twilight Benefit Foundation
cares for kids
By Rosemary Tokatlian
he Twilight Benefit Foundation held the Twilight Charity
Golf Invitational July 7 which benefitted cancer research at the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Held at Indianwood Golf and
Country Club, the event raised $5,100. In addition to the Golf
Invitational, the Twilight Benefit Foundation hosts the Twilight Ball and the
Twilight Wine Tasting with the goal of supporting social, philanthropic and
humanitarian efforts. For more information, visit
Amy Riethmeier and Jon May at the
Twilight Charity Golf Invitational.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 27
Kohl’s really cares for kids; supports child
safety at Children’s Hospital
ohl’s Safety Night held at
the Children’s Hospital of
Michigan’s Stilson Specialty
Center in
Clinton Township was a big hit, but
not just because of the food, music and
fun activities. The first
200 kids to attend this
community event in
September received free
bike helmets autographed
by Detroit Red Wings
center Pavel Datsyuk.
“This is the first time
we paired up with an
Kohl’s leadership presented a check for $469,206 athlete,” says Holly
By Marti Benedetti
Smolinski, Kohl’s vice president and district
manager in Troy.
“It is probably the best event we’ve done.
We could see doing it again because it went
so well.”
Kohl’s Cares for Kids, a subsidiary of
Kohl’s Department Stores, also presented
$469,206 to Children’s Hospital president
Herman B. Gray, M.D. to support Kohl’s
Trauma Related Injury Prevention program at the hospital. Since 2000, Kohl’s
has donated more than $3.6 million to the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
“We want to give back to the communities
we serve,” Smolinski says “We support 160
children’s hospitals nationwide.”
to Children’s Hospital at Kohl’s Safety Night.
Red Wings partnership yields nearly
$20,000 for Child Life Services
The Detroit Red Wings
donated $5 from each
ticket purchased by
Detroit Medical Center
employees to Children’s
Hospital resulting in a
donation of $19,525.
28 About Children’s
Winter 2009
he Detroit Red Wings organization gave $5 of every ticket bought
by Detroit Medical Center
employees during its 20082009 season to Child Life Services at the
Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
The $19,525 check was presented
in late summer to Children’s Hospital
by Steve Violetta, senior vice
president of business affairs for the
Detroit Red Wings. DMC employees
bought 3,905 discounted tickets.
“We think doing this is important
because we need to help take care
By Marti Benedetti
of kids, their education and their health,”
Violetta says. “This particular cause took
our relationship with the DMC to a new
level. It’s more than a sponsorship, it’s really
a partnership.”
Child Life provides intervention and
activities to alleviate the stress and anxiety
of a hospital stay for children and their
This was the first full year the Red
Wings participated in the donation
program. “This is a credit to the DMC
employees. They make a program like
this happen,” he says.
Festival of Trees still making a difference
for children after 25 years
he holiday season is about
celebrating traditions. And one
of the most popular holiday
traditions in metro Detroit is
celebrating a quarter century of helping
children. The Festival of Trees, one of
the largest annual special event fundraisers for the Children’s Hospital of
Michigan, turns 25 years old this year.
“It’s a big milestone for us,” festival board
president Gregory Koukoudian said. “We’re
definitely bringing it to the forefront of
Festival of Trees was held in late
November at the Allen Park Municipal
Auditorium. The event featured about 50
full-size, professionally designed holiday
trees that are sponsored and purchased
by corporations and individuals. It also
offered smaller locally designed trees as well
as centerpieces, a gift shop and more.
The festival has raised more than
$8 million for the Evergreen Endowment,
which has funded more than $5 million
in research projects at the hospital. This
year’s goal is to raise more than $100,000,
a mark the event has eclipsed several times
in the past, Koukoudian said.
As part of its anniversary celebration,
the festival honored many of the event’s
past chairpersons at a special ceremony.
The event requires more than 150 volunteers to pitch in each year. After many
years in downtown Detroit, the festival
moved to Dearborn and Novi before
settling in Allen Park last year.
Since its inception, the event has attracted
By Todd Schulz
visitors from around the state as well as
Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Kentucky,
New York and Canada.
“It’s a very worthwhile event and cause,”
Koukoudian said. “We’re a significant
contributor to the community.”
Several other events were planned in
conjunction with the traditional tree
display. The first was the American Girl Tea
& Fashion Show on Oct. 10-11. Also
included were a Nov. 21 Preview Party and
a Nov. 28 Dance Party for adults.
a new Festival
of Trees Gift
Shop will be
open through
Dec. 18 in the
located at One
Campus Martius
in Detroit. The
Gift Shop offers
merchandise and
is presented in
partnership with
ACO Hardware.
For more
about Festival
of Trees events
and the Gift
Shop, please visit
One of the beautiful
trees on display.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 29
Rockin’ for a great cause
Silent auction items
included a guitar signed
by singer/songwriter Paul
Simon. Photo courtesy of
Andrew Potter.
By Rosemary Tokatlian
ore than 500 guests had a
rockin’ good time and raised
$426,000 for the Children’s
Hospital of Michigan
at Rockin’ on the Roof. Held at the
Columbia Center in Troy September 10,
the event featured performances by the
Mosaic Youth Theatre and the Mega 80’s,
a strolling dinner and a silent auction with
one-of-a-kind items such as a guitar signed
by Paul Simon. Due to overwhelming
demand, guests rocked out in the parking
lot instead of the roof top of Columbia
Center’s parking deck.
Proceeds from the event will benefit
the new Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Pediatric Specialty Center – Detroit. This
75,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility
will be located across the street from the
existing hospital. Construction is expected
to begin in 2010 and the facility is scheduled to open in 2011.
Rockin’ on the Roof was sponsored
in part by Giarmarco, Mullins and
Horton, P.C., Columbia Center, Pegasus
Entertainment, S & R Event Rental, WDIV
Local 4, WJR-AM 760, 96.3 WDVD-FM,
93.1 DOUG FM and the Detroit Media
To become a sponsor of the 2010 Rockin’ on
the Roof event, please call (313) 745-0145
or e-mail [email protected]
Peter and Jacob
Dankelson; Brendon,
Antonio and Braylon
Ball. Photo courtesy of
Andrew Potter.
Jan Cottrell, Shirley Gray, Gloria Robinson,
Herman Gray, M.D., Luanne Ewald, Rhonda Foster.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Potter.
Steve Lefkofsky and
Joe Scallen.
30 About Children’s
Winter 2009
The Mega 80’s rocked
out all night long.
Cindy Rowell, Susie Baker,
Judy Kramer, Jane Iacobelli, Rita Margherio.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Potter.
Event Co-Chairs
Lisa Luttmann,
Kathy and Will
Heritage, Jeff Page,
Herman Gray, M.D.,
Pat Kelly, Luanne
Ewald, Co-Chair
Roy Luttmann,
Rosie Gilchrist.
Joe Thomas, Rosie Gilchrist
and Jack Krasula.
Henry Rance, M.D., Pauline Norman,
Anne-Maré Ice, M.D., Terees Western.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 31
Dear Friends,
As we approach the end of this year, I am grateful for the many gifts that you and other
donors have given to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. It is with your support that we have
been able to achieve so much.
We strive for excellence in all we do and as you may know, we have received numerous
awards as a result. In the last year alone, Children’s Hospital was ranked as one of America’s
best hospitals for children in cancer, heart and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, and
urology by U.S.News & World Report and was ranked among America’s top 25 children’s hospitals
by Parent magazine.
Additionally, Children’s Hospital is a nationally recognized Magnet hospital for nursing
excellence, a top hospital for patient safety and quality practices by the Leapfrog Group, and a top hospital in pediatrics by
Hour Detroit magazine.
Through the help of caring donors like you, we have been able to provide the highest quality of care to the children
of our community for 123 years. Thank you again for your commitment to this essential cause and please accept my best
wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season.
John D. Baker, M.D.
Chairman of the Board
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Recognized for cancer,
heart and heart surgery,
neurology and neurosurgery,
and urology
Top Hospital for
Safety and Quality
Top 25 Children’s
hildren’s Hospital of Michigan meets the highest national standards set for
medical and nursing staff, hospital personnel and patient care. Our young
patients and their families are assured the finest medical care and the highest
quality of hospital services.
The Children’s Hospital of Michigan is a member of the Detroit Medical Center, the
academic health system for Wayne State University, and is affiliated with Wayne State
University’s School of Medicine, College of Nursing, and College of
Pharmacy and Allied Health.
The Children’s Hospital of Michigan is accredited by the Joint
Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and by the
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Children’s is
accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 trauma
center and as a regional poison control center by the American
Association of Poison Control Centers.
The hospital is certified by the Health Care Finance Administration
(Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act) and licensed by the Michigan
Department of Community Health.
Gabriel, 9
32 About Children’s
Top 5% Nationally
in Nursing
Winter 2009
Kylia, 6
Executive Staff
Herman B. Gray, M.D., M.B.A.
Shawn Levitt, R.N., M.S.A.
Vice President/Chief Operating
Joseph T. Scallen
Vice President, Finance
Charles J. Barone II, M.D.
Vice President, Medical Affairs
Jan Cottrell, R.N., M.S.N.
Associate Vice President
Patient Care Services
Luanne M. Ewald, F.A.C.H.E.
Vice President, Business
Development and
Strategic Planning
Rhonda Foster, Ed.D., M.P.H., M.S.
R.N., Vice President
Patient Care Services
Linda M. Jordan, B.S., R.N.,
Vice President
Ambulatory Services
Patrick R. Kelly
Vice President, Development
Lori R. Mouton
Vice President, Marketing,
Communications and
Community Relations
Tarry L. Paylor
Vice President
Human Resources
Medical Staff Chiefs
Herman B. Gray, M.D., M.B.A.
Bonita Stanton, M.D.
Richard A.K. Reynolds, M.D.
Chief of Orthopaedics
Mary Lu Angelilli, M.D.
Chief of Staff
Ibrahim F. Abdulhamid, M.D.
Chief of Pulmonary Medicine
Gyula Acsadi, M.D.
Vice-Chief of Neurology
Basim I. Asmar, M.D.
Chief of Infectious Diseases
Allison Ball, M.D.
Interim Chief of Hospitalist
Diane Chugani, Ph.D.
Chief of Pharmacology and
Harry T. Chugani, M.D.
Chief of Neurology
Edward R. Dabrowski, M.D.
Chief of Physical Medicine and
Chandra Edwin, M.D.
Interim Chief of Endocrinology
Mohammad F. El-Baba, M.D.
Chief of Gastroenterology
Howard S. Fischer, M.D.
Co-Chief of Ambulatory
Pediatrics and Adolescent
Yvonne Friday, M.D.
Co-Chief of Ambulatory
Pediatrics and Adolescent
Steven D. Ham, D.O.
Chief of Neurosurgery
Michael S. Haupert, D.O.
Chief of Pediatric
Joseph M. Hildebrand, D.D.S.
Chief of Oral and
Maxillofacial Surgery
Richard A. Humes, M.D.
Chief of Cardiology
Stephen R. Knazik, D.O., M.B.A.
Chief of Emergency Medicine
Yegappan Lakshmanan, M.D.
Chief of Urology
Joseph L. Lelli, Jr., M.D.
Chief of Pediatric Surgery
Mary Lieh-Lai, M.D.
Co-Chief of Critical Care Medicine
Jeanne M. Lusher, M.D.
Co-Chief of Hematology
and Oncology
Tej K. Mattoo, M.D.
Chief of Nephrology
Ellen C. Moore, M.D.
Chief of Immunology, Allergy
and Rheumatology
Yaddanapudi Ravindranath, M.D.
Co-Chief of Hematology
and Oncology
John D. Roarty, M.D.
Chief of Ophthalmology
David R. Rosenberg, M.D.
Chief of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Neurosciences
Arlene A. Rozzelle, M.D.
Chief of Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery
Ashok P. Sarnaik, M.D.
Co-Chief of Critical Care
Seetha Shankaran, M.D.
Chief of Neonatal and
Perinatal Medicine
James P. Stenger, D.D.S.
Chief of Dentistry
David Stockton, M.D.
Chief of Genetic and Metabolic
Henry L. Walters III, M.D.
Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery
J. Michael Zerin, M.D.
Chief of Pediatric Imaging
Maria M. Zestos, M.D.
Chief of Anesthesiology
Board of Trustees
*John D. Baker, M.D.,
*Joanne B. Faycurry
Vice Chairperson
*Gloria W. Robinson
Vice Chairperson
Children’s Hospital
of Michigan Foundation
Board of Trustees
*Alan Woodliff, Ph.D.
Vice Chairperson
*Frank Couzens, Jr.,
*Joseph T. Scallen,
Assistant Treasurer
*Sara E. Wallace,
*Mary Lu Angelilli, M.D.
Tony Antone
*Elaine Baker
*Douglas M. Etkin
Cynthia N. Ford
*Matthew Friedman
The Honorable Hilda Gage
*Erica Ward Gerson
John Ginopolis
*Herman B. Gray, M.D., M.B.A.
Patricia Heftler
Reverend Nicholas Hood, III
*Joseph G. Horonzy
Arthur B. Hudson
Gilbert Hudson
Jane Iacobelli
Anne-Maré Ice, M.D.
Josephine Kessler
*Nick A. Khouri
Linda Kowalski Jacob
Edward C. Levy, Jr.
John G. Levy
Carol Marantette
Florine Mark
Alyssa Martina
Linda O’Brien
*David K. Page
Jessica S. Pellegrino
*Richard A. K. Reynolds, M.D.
Bruce H. Rosen
Derek J. Sarafa
Ashok P. Sarnaik, M.D.
Aaron H. Sherbin
*Thomas L. Slovis, M.D.
*Bonita Stanton, M.D.
Lyle Wolberg
George A. Wrigley
* Executive Committee
Ambassadors Council
Eduardo Arciniegas, M.D.
*Maurice J. Beznos
Robert H. Bluestein
Alexa I. Canady, M.D.
*Margot Coville
Julie Fisher Cummings
Nancy N. Delaney
*Margaret Fisher
Alan W. Frank
Rosanne Gjostein
James Grosfeld
*William R. Halling
Cynthia N. Ford
Jonathon Aaron
Maurice J. Beznos
James F. Carr, Jr.
Larry Fleischmann, M.D.
Maxine Frankel
Leslie Helppie
Dorthie Hertzler
Jack H. Hertzler, M.D.
*Robert C. Larson
*William P. MacKinnon
*Jane Buell Mills
Joseph C. Murphy
Joseph G. Nuyen, Jr.
Michael C. Porter
Thomas M. Rozek
Thomas L. Schoenith
*Ruth Townsend
Katie Valenti
Joan B. Warren
* Honorary Board of Trustee Member
John Ginopolis
Brian Hermelin
Jack Krasula
Steven R. Lefkofsky
Edward C. Levy, Jr.
Jeanne M. Lusher, M.D.
Rita Margherio
Macomb County Advisory Board
John D. Baker, M.D.
Dana Camphous-Peterson
Mark Deldin
Luanne M. Ewald, F.A.C.H.E.
Herman B. Gray, M.D., M.B.A.
Sheriff Mark Hackel
Earl Stilson
The Honorable David F. Viviano
The Honorable Tracey A. Yokich
Anita Masters Penta
Lewis J. Nedelcoff
Dick Purtan Patricia Rodzik
Jatinder-Bir Sandhu
William M. Wetsman
Contact Information:
Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation
3911 Beaubien St. Detroit, MI 48201-9932 (313) 964-6994
Patrick R. Kelly, Executive Director
Children’s Hospital of Michigan 33
Nonprofit Org.
Detroit MI
Permit No. 4772
3901 Beaubien St.
Detroit, Michigan 48201-2196
Purchase a wish from the Red Wings
Wish Club and surprise a loved one with
a birthday, anniversary, marriage proposal
or special message on the Joe Louis Arena
scoreboard during a Red Wings or college
hockey game. Wishes range from $50 to
$250 and all proceeds benefit patient care
at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Wishes must be received by noon at least
three days prior to game time. Wishes are
limited to 25 per game including one live
marriage proposal.
To reserve your wish, please
contact the Red Wings Wish Club
at (313) 745-5024.
Detroit Red Wings
2009-2010 Home Games
Blue Jackets
All times are Eastern Standard Time.
7:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
11 Sharks
13 Senators
Flames Wild
Blue Jackets
Blue Jackets
7:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
Below is a partial list of upcoming fundraising events benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. For additional details please contact the person listed.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
calendar of events
January 2-3
Shen Yun Shows
Detroit Opera House
february 13
Heart of a Child Dinner/Dance
Rock Financial Showplace, Novi
January 15
NAIAS Charity Preview
Cobo Center, Detroit
February 20
Verve Charity Ball Dinner Dance
University of Michigan Ballroom, Ann Arbor
Contact: Stephanie Gregory
(313) 745-5291 or [email protected]
Contact: DADA Office
(888) 838-7500 or
Contact: Kelly Landis
(313) 745-0137 or [email protected]
University of Michigan Ballroom, Ann Arbor
Contact: Kelly Landis
(313) 745-0137 or [email protected]
If you would like information on hosting an event in support of Children’s Hospital, please call the
Children’s Development Office at (313) 745-5373 or visit
Aushaé, 9