Spectrum Health names cancer program to honor longtime advocate

Ethie Haworth Courtesy Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital announced it 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. Dick and Ethie Haworth have been strong advocates for the work being done by the pediatric hematology/oncology team at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for the past 17 years.

When their grandson, Sam, was diagnosed with leukemia, the Haworth family saw firsthand the expertise and dedication put forth by the team.

Ethie Haworth 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.

She also has been a devoted hands-on volunteer to provide an ongoing selection of 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 and CEO of 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 wraparound services that address quality of life issues, psychosocial support, fertility preservation options and other long-term health implications of cancer survivorship.

The Haworth family also made a gift to establish the Dr. James Fahner Endowed Division Chief for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, in honor of Fahner’s leadership over the past 30 years.

This is the first leadership endowment of its kind at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. 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 coming years.

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