GRAND RAPIDS — The Gerber Center for Infant Nutrition and Development opened yesterday at DeVos Children’s Hospital. Programs at the center will address the follow-up care of pre-term and full-term infants with nutrition, growth and developmental challenges.
The center will focus on children from birth to age 3 and was developed with a gift of $3.45 million from The Gerber Foundation.
The goals of the Gerber Center are to:
- Provide state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment programs.
- Develop new treatment options, including specific diets and dietary supplements for children with developmental disorders, as well as for pregnant women.
- Perform groundbreaking research that is directly tied to clinical disorders.
- Establish multi-institutional collaboration efforts on the local and national levels.
“Our goal is to create a national model for infant nutrition and developmental care,” said David Alexander, M.D., president of DeVos Children’s Hospital. “We are deeply grateful to The Gerber Foundation for their confidence in DeVos Children’s Hospital as the location for this program and for their continuing commitment to the families of western Michigan and beyond.”
Dr. Wendy Burdo-Hartman, pediatrician and developmental specialist, has been named as the Gerber Endowed Chair and will be directing the center’s clinical work. Dr. Stuart Stein, division chief of pediatric neurology, is responsible for the center’s research.
“Our vision is to maximize the potential of all children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders by providing individualized nutritional care and developmental support,” said Burdo-Hartman.
In 1973, The Gerber Foundation established the Neonatal Center at DeVos Children’s Hospital and has consistently provided financial support for programming and facilities.
“We are very proud of our 31-year relationship with this hospital to assure that all babies and young children receive the care they need to reach their full potential,” said Barbara Ivens, president of The Gerber Foundation. “We believe this program will be a benchmark for other children’s hospitals across the country.”
DeVos Children’s Hospital is West Michigan’s only children’s hospital, serving children and families throughout a 37-county region.