Monday, March 13, 2023
The Corewell Health Foundation - Southeast Michigan has secured a $1.5 million grant from Toyota Motor North America in support of an initiative to better address the needs of children with mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Led by Dr. Matthew Denenberg, chief of pediatrics for Corewell Health East, and Dr. Anthony Stallion, chief of pediatric surgery for Corewell Health East, the initiative will seek to provide enhanced care for infants, children and teens who suffer from TBI, directly impacting treatment opportunities for pediatric patients from throughout the Corewell Health system and, ultimately, patients across the country.
“We are deeply honored to be among the first recipients of a grant from Toyota Motor North America’s new Way Forward Fund,” said Dr. Denenberg. “With this grant, we can standardize diagnostic models of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time – making a significant difference in the lives of infants, children and teens with traumatic brain injury.”
The Way Forward Fund is a new, multi-year initiative from Toyota Motor North America aimed at strengthening access to care and injury recovery support for individuals and their families with an initial focus on children with traumatic brain injury.
Beaumont Children’s is one of three programs nationwide to receive an inaugural grant – the other two are Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Yale University’s ImPACTS program.
Each year, traumatic brain injuries result in an average of 640,000 emergency department visits, 18,000 hospitalizations and 1,500 deaths among children ages 14 years or younger. It is estimated that more than 145,000 children are currently living with a TBI-related disability nationwide.
While specialized services are readily available for children with moderate-to-severe TBI, it is estimated that only 14.3 percent of children with milder cases of TBI are receiving the medical and educational services they need in order to recover.
The grant came together over the holiday season this past year as staff from the Corewell Health Foundation – Southeast Michigan worked with Dr. Denenberg and Dr. Stallion to outline the program and its potential to affect positive change for children with mild to moderate TBI. It was another example of the importance of physician partnerships in raising funds and awareness for high priority patient care initiatives.
Through this partnership with Toyota, Corewell Health East – Beaumont Children’s will invest in TBI prevention and education efforts for children and teens while also expanding treatment and recovery opportunities. The initiative will also place a much-needed focus on children from underserved communities as they often experience more obstacles when attempting to access and obtain appropriate care.
The initiative is expected to roll out in two phases across Corewell Health pediatrics and include both Beaumont Children’s (Southeast Michigan’s only Children’s Miracle Network affiliate hospital) and Corewell Health West’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
Phase one will focus on creating a standardized model of care and establishing its use across Corewell Health’s 22-hospital health system. This phase includes a pilot program that uses remote follow-up care with providers specially trained in TBI. This important step ensures equal access to appropriate diagnosis regardless of location or racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Dr. Stallion noted, “Full recovery often depends on the critical days after diagnosis. Implementation of this new initiative will help ensure our young patients have access to appropriate and effective care. We are very grateful to Toyota for investing in this important area of treatment and prevention.”
During phase two, physicians will develop education and user-friendly prevention strategies that focus on the leading causes of TBI in children and teens: motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and falls. This phase will also see the development of preventative technologies and the use of artificial intelligence to identify TBI risks and improve rehabilitation outcomes.
Although the grant was only recently announced, work is already underway to begin building and implementing this potentially life-changing patient care initiative.
“This grant demonstrates how important partnerships with philanthropic leaders like Toyota can be when it comes to innovation and making new opportunities for care available to patients,” said Margaret Cooney Casey, president of Corewell Health Foundation – Southeast Michigan. “We appreciate deeply this support from Toyota and applaud their commitment to giving back and enriching the health and well-being of so many children and families.”