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Oakwood Recognizes Local Couple for Naming The Oakwood Family Center

Randy and Toni Kowalski provide philanthropic funding toward acclaimed clinical and educational programs for children and families

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Oakwood Healthcare System is proud to announce that it has received a generous gift from Randy and Toni Kowalski in support of Oakwood's Center for Exceptional Families (CEF), the only place in Michigan - and one of the few in the United States - to offer fully integrated care and support for children with special needs and their families. The CEF is housed in Dearborn's Oakwood Family Center, along with the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC). This leadership gift will name the building in honor of Toni's parents, Michael and Estela Ferrantino.

In recognition of their commitment, Oakwood recently hosted a reception in honor of the Kowalski family and their significant contribution toward the capital campaign for the Center for Exceptional Families.

"It is a great pleasure for Toni and I to extend our commitment to the Oakwood Family Center, which plays such a key role in advancing the care and education of children, including those with multiple disabilities," said Randy Kowalski. "We are delighted to express our deep respect and support of Dr. Susan Youngs and the entire staff who work so hard to make this a clinical and educational home for children, their families and teachers."

As of July 1, 2009, a total of $4,207,253 has been raised toward the overarching campaign goal of $6.25 million. An additional $1,625,000 has been raised to support operational funding and endowments.

"It is a privilege to receive such support for this amazing program," said Carla O'Malley, executive director and president of the Oakwood Healthcare Foundation. "This gift will enhance our ability to support these important clinical and educational activities as they continue to evolve. We are deeply grateful to Randy and Toni Kowalski for their foresight and commitment to our vision."

For the past three years, Oakwood's Center for Exceptional Families and the UM-Dearborn's ECEC have been working collaboratively to support each other's missions for education, clinical care, research and service to the community, while offering a unique clinical and educational experience for children and families. This new space and the co-location of these programs will serve as an incubator of new ideas, research and services for children and families long into the future. The two programs began occupying space in the Oakwood Family Center earlier this year, which resulted from the transformation of a vacant 38,000 square-foot Dearborn building into a state-of-the-art learning center.

The facility also houses Oakwood's clinical learning center, designed to enhance the skills and preparation of front-line caregivers throughout the Oakwood System.

Oakwood Healthcare System (OHS) is one of the most comprehensive health care delivery systems in southeastern Michigan. Oakwood serves residents over a 500-square-mile area and operates four acute care hospitals, several health centers and a vast number of specialty services, including four centers of excellence. More than 1,300 physicians, representing nearly every medical, surgical specialty and subspecialty, are affiliated with OHS. The organization serves more than 1.2 million people in 29 communities. In addition, numerous outpatient facilities and healthcare centers are dedicated to fulfilling patient needs across several communities. For more information on Oakwood Healthcare System hospitals, healthcare center locations, physician referrals and appointment scheduling, visit on line at or call 800.543.WELL.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn is a comprehensive university with more than 8,700 students and 500 faculty members offering undergraduate and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, management, education and public administration.

SOURCE Oakwood Healthcare System
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