Donation to Establish Free Hospice Care for Michigan Children, Part of $25M Expansion


A donation from philanthropist and pediatric psychotherapist Jo Elyn Nyman will allow Hospice of Michigan to offer free care services to terminally ill children and support programs for their families across Michigan.

“Jo Elyn’s gift will ensure that all parents and children who need and seek compassionate care and support will be able to receive it at no charge,” said Robert Cahill, president and CEO of Hospice of Michigan, last night at the Chandeliers in the City gala in Detroit, where the donation was announced.  The specific amount of the donation was not revealed.

Cahill said the gift helps Hospice get a head start on its $25 million planned expansion of its pediatric hospice, palliative support, and research programs across the state. The organization is also working to establish the Center for Pediatric Research and Education, a research center dedicated to educating children and their families on end-of-life issues.

As part of the expansion, Dr. Kenneth Pituch, a professor of pediatrics and medical director of the pediatric palliative care program at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, will be the program chair for the expanded pediatric program. He joins a team of 16 physicians, nurses, and social workers.

Nyman, of Birmingham, has supported Hospice of Michigan’s initial expansion in 2013. The so-called Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Program for Children include: A pediatric hospice care program that provides comfort care, nursing, and grief support for children facing a terminal illness and their families; the Compass Palliative Support for Children designed for children and young adults with potentially life-limiting illnesses who want to continue treatment and are not eligible for traditional hospice services; Perinatal Hospice Care, which offers medical and emotional support for families anticipating life-threatening conditions for their unborn child; and the Center for Pediatric Research and Education, which will conduct research initiatives based on best practices for end-of-life care training programs.

Her gift was made possible by funds from a foundation established by Nyman’s parents, the Samuel and Jean Frankel Foundation.