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Inaugural Patricia H. Rodzik Endowed Chair for Youth Behavioral Health Announced

Chair provides support for innovative research, teaching and clinical care.

DETROIT – February 24, 2022 – The Children’s Foundation, Central Michigan University, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and University Pediatricians collectively announced Dr. Matt LaCasse, child and adolescent psychiatrist, as the inaugural chair holder of the Patricia H. Rodzik Endowed Chair for Youth Behavioral Health.

“We are honored that Dr. LaCasse will hold the Patricia H. Rodzik Endowed Chair for Youth Behavioral Health,” said Kathy Donovan, group chief operating officer at Detroit Medical Center and chief executive officer at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “The mental wellness of the families and patients we see is as important as their physical health, and this is a step toward bettering the outcomes for both.”

In addition to leading psychiatric services at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Dr. Lacasse specializes in addiction and is building a program focused on providing resources to children and adolescents battling substance use disorder.  Currently, addiction treatment services for youth are sparse and often do not provide comprehensive, up-to-date care. The program is slated to open later in 2022.

“Physicians who do research are on the cutting edge of medicine. This expansion of behavioral health research is important to the organization and the community,” said Dr. Kathleen Meert, the CMU College of Medicine’s Schotanus Family Pediatric Chair and president of University Pediatricians.

The Patricia H. Rodzik Endowed Chair for Youth Behavioral Health was established in 2019 by Ms. Patricia Rodzik to provide resources for a leadership position at Children’s Hospital of Michigan focused on research in the area of mental health in children and young adults.

“Mental health remains a key focus area for The Children’s Foundation and naming Dr. LaCasse in this important role is a big step for all parties involved,” stated Lawrence J. Burns, president and chief executive officer of The Children’s Foundation.  “We are grateful to Patricia Rodzik for her generosity and dedication to the health and wellness of children.”

The Children’s Foundation, in collaboration with Central Michigan University, University Pediatricians and Children’s Hospital of Michigan, is committed to better understanding the mental health of children and adolescents and finding long-term solutions to meet their needs.

“Mental health research and evaluation help guide health care policies, strategy, programming and more. We are confident Dr. LaCasse will be a great success as chair as he helps shape the future of mental health services,” said Dr. George E. Kikano, CMU vice president for health affairs and dean of the CMU College of Medicine.

About The Children’s Foundation:

The Children’s Foundation is a premier foundation focused on the health and well-being of the children of Michigan and their families by working in collaboration with other organizations in the community.  By listening to community needs, The Foundation responds by mobilizing and enhancing resources through innovative partnerships and funding models. Since 2011, the Foundation has distributed more than 75 million dollars in grant funding to more than 140 partners throughout the state. Current initiatives of The Children’s Foundation include Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, The Jamie Daniels Foundation, First Tee- Greater Detroit, Detroit Excellence in Youth Arts and the Paul W. Smith Charities. Current areas of focus for the Foundation include mental health, nutritional wellness, abuse and neglect, pediatric research, youth development and injury prevention. Learn more at

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