Children's Health, Research & Technology

Hunt for a Cure Foundation Provides Lead Gift of $500,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Research at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 13, 2018 – Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is pleased to announce the creation of a research partnership between Spectrum Health, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Hunt for a Cure Foundation that will help find a cure for cystic fibrosis patients. Today, the Hunt for a Cure Foundation announced a $500,000 lead gift for Cystic Fibrosis research at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. This multidisciplinary approach launched earlier this year, and is made possible by Hunt for A Cure Foundation’s founder, Pete Odland.

“I can’t emphasize enough how moving it is to see Hunt for a Cure Foundation invest in this translational and clinical research program,” said Chris Chambers, MD, PhD, vice president, research, Spectrum Health. “What Pete Odland has done is above and beyond what most people in similar circumstances can accomplish. We are motivated by his dedication and commitment and look forward to working with our partners Michigan State University College of Human Medicine to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis.”

Hunt for a Cure Foundation, founded in 2006 and supported by other passionate parents of children with cystic fibrosis, has been funding research in hopes of finding a cure.

Pete’s son, Dylan, has cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes the body to produce abnormally thick mucus leading to life-threatening lung infections. In 1996, Dylan was one of the first patients to be seen in the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Care Center by John Schuen, MD, division chief pediatric pulmonary medicine and sleep clinic.

“The body of work at the cystic fibrosis care center has been a labor of love,” said Dr. Schuen. “The lives of our young people with cystic fibrosis, like Dylan, have tremendously improved.”

The research program will take advantage of the large annual clinical base of hundreds of patients through the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Care Center to facilitate gene-specific therapies and accelerate advances in the care of cystic fibrosis as well as other advanced lung disease. More importantly, the program will facilitate and create new opportunities for collaboration between MSU scientists and Spectrum Health, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital clinicians.

“MSU joins Spectrum Health in gratitude to Pete Odland and Hunt for a Cure Foundation for their generous support of this vital research initiative with Dr. Schuen and our partners at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital,” said Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS, dean, MSU College of Human Medicine.

“Our comprehensive, accredited cystic fibrosis care center provides multidisciplinary care for people with cystic fibrosis from birth and into adulthood,” said Dr. Schuen. “This requires a team approach and talented clinicians, researchers, leaders, and administrators who have come together for a single purpose: to control and ultimately cure cystic fibrosis.”

Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $585 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

Rick Jensen
Media Relations
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