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LaCasse named inaugural Patricia H. Rodzik Endowed Chair for Youth Behavioral Health

| Author: Kate Worster

The Children’s Foundation, Central Michigan University, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and University Pediatricians collectively announced Matt LaCasse, M.D., CMU clinical assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry and University Pediatricians psychiatrist, as the inaugural chair holder of the Patricia H. Rodzik Endowed Chair for Youth Behavioral Health.

“We are honored that Dr. LaCasse will hold the Patricia H. Rodzik Endowed Chair for Youth Behavioral Health,” said Kathy Donovan, group chief operating officer at Detroit Medical Center and chief executive officer at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “The mental wellness of the families and patients we see is as important as their physical health, and this is a step toward bettering the outcomes for both.”

In addition to leading psychiatric services at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Lacasse specializes in addiction and is building a program focused on providing resources to children and adolescents battling substance use disorder. Currently, addiction treatment services for youth are sparse and often do not provide comprehensive, up-to-date care. The program is slated to open later in 2022.

“Physicians who do research are on the cutting edge of medicine. This expansion of behavioral health research is important to the organization and the community,” said Dr. Kathleen Meert, the CMU College of Medicine's Schotanus Family Pediatric Chair and president of University Pediatricians. 

The Patricia H. Rodzik Endowed Chair for Youth Behavioral Health was established in 2019 by Ms. Patricia H. Rodzik to provide resources for a leadership position at Children’s Hospital of Michigan focused on research in the area of mental health in children and young adults.  

“Mental health remains a key focus area for The Children’s Foundation and naming Dr. LaCasse in this important role is a big step for all parties involved,” stated Lawrence J. Burns, president and chief executive officer of The Children’s Foundation.  “We are grateful to Patricia Rodzik for her generosity and dedication to the health and wellness of children.”

The Children’s Foundation, in collaboration with Central Michigan University, University Pediatricians and Children’s Hospital of Michigan, is committed to better understanding the mental health of children and adolescents and finding long-term solutions to meet their needs.

"Mental health research and evaluation help guide health care policies, strategy, programming and more. We are confident Dr. LaCasse will be a great success as chair as he helps shape the future of mental health services,” said Dr. George E. Kikano, CMU vice president for health affairs and dean of the CMU College of Medicine.