$5M Gift to Create Karmanos Center for Natural Birth at Beaumont


Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak expects to open a natural birth center in late 2014 thanks to a $5 million gift presented today by Danialle and Peter Karmanos Jr., founder and past chairman of Detroit-based Compuware Corp.

“(The center will be) one-of-a-kind in its scale, its attention to detail, and its focus on creating a welcoming, aesthetically pleasing environment, with nurses and physicians trained in the art of natural childbirth,” says Dr. Ray Bahado-Singh, chairman of obstetrics-gynecology at Beaumont Health System. “It recognizes the voices of many women seeking a natural, holistic approach to labor that, in select women, has led to lower rates of medical interventions and C-section deliveries and faster recovery rates.”

The 3,225-square-foot Karmanos Center for Natural Birth will include four deluxe birthing suites that will be equipped with Jacuzzi tubs and other aids for natural laboring and delivery positions. The patient care team will include obstetricians, midwives, lactation consultants, and nurses trained in natural childbirth techniques and integrative medicine techniques such as aromatherapy, guided imagery, medical music therapy, and Reiki therapy.

The gift will also support natural childbirth training opportunities for medical professionals as well as research centered on the benefits of natural birth for mothers and infants.

The Karmanos’ decided to partner with Beaumont because of their personal experience with the hospital. All four of the Karmanos’ sons were born naturally — including two who were born at Beaumont.

“We recognize that natural birth isn’t for everyone,” says Danialle Karmanos, founder and board member of Danialle Karmanos’ Work It Out, a nonprofit that uses a holistic and yoga-based approach to fight child obesity in some of Detroit’s poorest neighborhoods. “But for those who are interested, our vision is to create a first-class environment for more women to have the option of a healthy, safe, natural birth experience.”

In related news, a gift made by Gretchen C. Valade, chair of Carhartt Inc. in Dearborn, CEO of Mack Avenue Records in Harper Woods, and a major supporter of the Detroit International Jazz Festival, will help support cardiology and orthopedics programs at the St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit. Most of the gift will help create an endowment supporting the hospital’s Structural and Endovascular Heart Program.

“The generous funding for an endowment to support these cardiovascular endeavors helps ensure the future of this nationally recognized program,” says Dr. Thomas LaLonde, chief of cardiology and cardiovascular services at the medical center.