Detroit Institute for Children Medical Director to Receive Prestigious CATCH Award

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Eileen Donovan, MD Honored with Dr. Clarence Livingood Humanitarian Award

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Dr. Donovan has given tirelessly and passionately to help children with special needs reach their maximum potential while also advocating for the clinicians that serve these extraordinary children.

The Detroit Institute for Children (DIC), Southeast Michigan’s leading nonprofit provider of therapy for children with special needs, today announced that its medical director, Eileen Donovan, MD, will be honored by CATCH, the organization founded in 1987 by the late Sparky Anderson and the late Dr. Clarence Livingood to recognize Detroit leaders and raise funds for pediatric patients.

Donovan will be presented the Dr. Clarence Livingood Humanitarian Award for her work helping children with special needs across her extensive career, including her current roles as the DIC’s medical director and as a practicing physician at the Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families.

Previous recipients of this prestigious award include Dr. Colleen Allen, former director of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Henry Ford Hospital; Dr. Ian T. Jackson of Providence Hospital; and Dr. Gyula Acsadi of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

In 1982, Dr. Donovan began her career serving children as a physical therapist at the DIC. She left the organization in 1992 to pursue a medical degree, returned as a physician in 2002 and has served as the organization’s medical director ever since. In 2011, she also began operating a practice with the Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families. Across her career she has served as a volunteer consultant and advisor for the State of Michigan, Muscular Dystrophy Association and many other organizations.

“Over her many years with us, Dr. Donovan has given tirelessly and passionately to help children with special needs reach their maximum potential while also advocating for the clinicians that serve these extraordinary children,” said DIC President and CEO Mark Cleary. “She is the heart and soul of our organization, and we are so pleased that she is receiving this well-earned recognition.”

These sentiments are echoed by Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families Clinical Program Manager Tammy Morris.

“Dr. Donovan understands the struggles of children with special needs on every level and she helps them manage those struggles,” said Morris. “She finds joy in her interactions with her patients and feels it is a privilege to care for them. She is truly an unsung hero.”

Donovan will be recognized formally during the CATCH Night of Champions on October 16 at the Henry Hotel in Dearborn. Also being honored during that fundraising event are Detroit Tigers President, CEO & General Manager Dave Dombrowski; Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Lem Barney; and retired Henry Ford Health System CFO Thomas McNulty. The three men will be inducted into the CATCH Hall of Fame. For tickets to the 24th annual CATCH Night of Champions, call 313-876-9399.

About the Detroit Institute for Children
The DIC is What Special Needs. The organization is a 501c3 nonprofit and has been providing specialized diagnostic, medical and rehabilitative care to children with disabilities for nearly a century. A comprehensive array of services and programs provides a continuum of care for children and young adults with physical, neurological or developmental disabilities. The DIC’s licensed therapists and professional staff provide the highest quality care available. Their emphasis is on treating the whole child, not just the disability, and working with family and caregivers to maximize the potential for independent functioning. The positive emphasis is on abilities, not disabilities. Whether a child’s condition resulted from a birth defect, illness or injury, whether it is mild or severe, the DIC is exactly What Special Needs. For more information on the DIC, see and follow us on Twitter at @detroitchildren, or check out our website at

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Karen Manardo
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