Children's Health

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Names Childhood Cancer Program to Honor Ethie Haworth

September 16, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 16, 2020 – Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has named its childhood cancer program in honor of one of its greatest advocates. The program will now be called the Ethie Haworth Children’s Cancer Center.

The family has also made a gift to establish the James Fahner, MD, Endowed Division Chief for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in honor of Dr. Fahner’s visionary leadership and devotion to developing an exceptional program over the past 30 years.  This is the first such leadership endowment at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Fahner will be the first person to fill this role, and this gift will provide support to ensure ongoing leadership, advocacy and program development work in the years to come.

Dick and Ethie Haworth have been champions for the work being done by the pediatric hematology/oncology team at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, led by Dr. Jim Fahner, for the past 17 years. When their grandson, Sam, was diagnosed with leukemia, the Haworth family saw firsthand the compassion, expertise and dedication put forth by this team. From that point forward, they have been extraordinary advocates and contributors for the hospital.

Ethie was one of the capital campaign co-chairs for the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The family established endowments to create the Pediatric Oncology Innovative Therapeutics Clinic and the Endowed Medical Director role for that clinic. Ethie has also been a devoted hands-on volunteer to provide an ongoing selection of high quality toys and games throughout Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for patients and siblings.

“The Haworths’ landmark generosity continues today, by making a new gift that will transform cancer care at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in several vital and impactful ways for years to come,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Spectrum Health.

The Haworths have given both startup funding and an endowment to provide sustaining support for a comprehensive Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Services Program (AYA). One in every 165 young people between the ages of 15 and 30 will be diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and because of medical advancements, many more teen and young adult cancer patients are surviving their diagnosis. The AYA program will provide wrap-around services that address quality of life issues, psychosocial support, fertility preservation options and other long-term health implications of cancer survivorship.

The naming of the children’s cancer program in Ethie Haworth’s honor recognizes the Haworth’s impactful philanthropy and loyal commitment to children and families in West Michigan and beyond.

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is a 234-bed regional referral center and teaching hospital. It offers advanced pediatric specialty care with more than 300 pediatric physicians who practice in more than 50 pediatric specialties and programs. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is Michigan’s largest neonatal center. More information is available online.

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