Health Advocacy

Advocacy Programs

Sometimes children and families that DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan serves need much more than medical care. They may also need education about health risk prevention, ways to lead healthier lifestyles, immunizations, intervention services for developmental delays or even assistance with basics such as food, clothing and shelter. That’s why the Children’s Hospital of Michigan makes advocacy and community outreach programs a high priority.

child hand finger painting

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan is committed to its mission to improve the health and well-being of all children and their communities by advancing the science and practice of pediatric health care and through child health advocacy efforts. One way in which Children’s Hospital achieves this mission is by offering a variety of programs and services, alone and with support from several public and private community partners, such as but not limited to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, the Helppie Family Charitable Foundation, the Carl’s Foundation and Kohl’s Department Stores.

Children’s Hospital’s child health advocacy activities are designed to both help improve access for patients and families to the services they may need and to help improve the health and well-being of children and their communities. The Hospital’s child health advocacy programs and services generally fall into three categories, a portion of which follows:

The following is a list of advocacy and community outreach programs. If you would like to find out more about any of these programs, please call (313) 745-2262.

Services: Health and parenting programs

Early On Collaborative

Service coordination and early intervention for families of children ages 0-3 with suspected developmental delays or a chronic medical condition that could affect development. Inquiries can be made online at or by calling (800) EARLYON.

Horizon’s Project

HIV prevention education and intervention for at-risk youth, and direct care services to HIV-positive teens and young adults aged 13 to 24.

Immunization Station

Provides immunizations to families whose children are less than 19 years old who are Medicaid-eligible, Alaskan Native/American Indians, or are underinsured.

Poison Control Center

A 24/7 hotline (1-800-222-1222) staffed by healthcare specialists providing information and referrals to concerned parents, health professionals and local health departments.

Reach Out And Read (ROAR)

Healthcare professionals encouraging parents and children to read aloud together by providing age appropriate reading material during well child visits.

Hamtramck School-Based Health Center

Hamtramck School Based Health Center – The Children's Hospital of Michigan Hamtramck School-Based Health Center (HSBHC), a collaborative effort between DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Hamtramck Public Schools, provides free health care services to the students of Hamtramck Public Schools.

Support Programs: Programs to meet family needs and complement health care

Cereal Drive

Children’s Hospital’s professional nurse council have led an annual cereal drive that resulted in donations of many hundreds of thousands of cereal servings to children through Gleaners Community Food Bank. This large scale program has entered the national spotlight among children’s hospitals and serves to help the Detroit Metro’s 315,000+ at risk kids gain access to breakfast throughout the summer when they are not able to participate in the free or low cost breakfast and lunch programs normally offer at school when it’s in session. Many of these kids are wholly dependent on school meal programs for their daily nutrition. The cereal drive was born from evidence that malnutrition contributes to cognitive deficiencies as well as a range of other health related illnesses that can limit a child’s potential to be a productive adult. Gleaners Community Food Bank’s network of 600 food pantries and kitchens in the Detroit area distributes the collected cereal, which they agree is always in high demand particularly during the summer. And when Gleaners’ cereal supply is low, it’s an expensive item for them to buy for their clients.

Diabetes Patient Education and Support

Provides diabetic workshops offering family support and education.

Hemophilia Parent Education

Provides educational and support workshops for parents of children with hemophilia.

Home Alone

A class that discusses and prepares age appropriate children to be safe and injury free when home.

Pediatric Cancer Survivor Day

Provides childhood cancer survivors opportunities to develop new friendships with children and families facing similar issues; identify and share feelings and concerns, and develop positive coping strategies.

Project Challenge

A summer and winter day camp providing a full range of psychosocial and recreational programs to improve the quality of life for children infected or affected by HIV.

Health Promotion and Safety Programs: Community outreach for education and prevention

Child Passenger Safety

Provides educational programs to the community on correct use of car seats; car seat inspection/check services, and car seats to Children's Hospital of Michigan patients in need. 

Health and Wellness Community Presentations

Lectures and classes in the community such as Career Days and Home Alone.

Health Education

Education of adults and students where applicable about safe sleep for infants, burn prevention, pedestrian and bike safety, bullying, sudden cardiac arrest and safe baby university among other topics.

HIV/AIDS Education

HIV/AIDS education programs and HIV counseling to teens and young adults by peer educators.


The maltreatment of children requires skilled medical and social intervention. Children’s Hospital of Michigan collaborates with the Kids-TALK Children's Advocacy Center - Medical Clinic to provide necessary services for abused children. This center provides a child-friendly environment to facilitate a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to the investigation and treatment of suspected child victims of abuse. Services include forensic interviews, advocacy services, counseling and medical evaluations for suspected victims of child sexual abuse. Medical evaluations for suspected child victims of sexual abuse are conducted by trained medical professionals who work with families, law enforcement, child protective services, courts, community professionals and the child welfare system to protect children and families in the community, region and state.

Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody High School

DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan partners with the Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody High School to host an annual healthcare career conference for their students, exposing them to career choices by featuring presentations from a range of Children’s Hospital pediatric health care professionals.

Safe Kids Metro Detroit

A community coalition dedicated to eliminating preventable injuries and deaths suffered by children under the age of 14. Children’s Hospital is the lead agency for this coalition.

Safe Sitter

A program for ages 11 to 13 to become safe, nurturing babysitters.

Smoke Alarms

Volunteers install smoke alarms in the homes of area residents who need them.

Kohls Injury Prevention Program

Kohl's Injury Prevention Program (KIPP) - A comprehensive, age specific safety education and injury prevention program. Topics covered include choking, suffocation & strangulation; poison prevention; motor vehicle safety & bus safety; pedestrian safety; water safety; personal safety; gun safety; and Home Alone Safety Jeopardy.

Learn how advocacy, prevention and treatment programs can help your family by calling (313) 745-2262.