Henry Ford Health System Receives Generous Gift to Support its Head and Neck Cancer Program

January 18, 2022

DETROIT (January 18, 2022) – Henry Ford Health System has received a generous seven-figure gift to establish an endowed chair and support its Head and Neck Cancer Program.

The gift is from prominent Detroit business leaders and philanthropists Peter and Julie Cummings.

Peter Cummings is the Executive Chairman and CEO of The Platform real estate company and a member of the Board of Trustees on the Henry Ford Health System Foundation. His wife Julie is the daughter of the late Detroit businessman Max Fisher and a social worker, academic and philanthropist with deep ties to Detroit. She is the chairman and co-founder of the Lovelight Foundation and a former Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

Tamer Ghanem, M.D., Division Chief of Head and Neck Cancer Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital and the Department of Otolaryngology, will serve as the inaugural Cummings Endowed Chair.

“This remarkable gift is a true cause for celebration and an inspiring example of what’s possible when our innovative physician leaders and generous supporters share a vision for progress,” said Mary Jane Vogt, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Henry Ford Health System. “We are profoundly grateful to Peter and Julie for their support.”

The Head and Neck Cancer Program is part of the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, a destination site for expert cancer care including the most advanced treatment options for head and neck cancer.

“It is so exciting to see our physician leaders and committed philanthropists coming together to shape the future of medicine at Henry Ford. The Cummings’ investment will unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation that drive progress for Henry Ford’s elite head and neck cancer program and benefit patients for decades to come,” said Steven Kalkanis, M.D., CEO of Henry Ford Medical Group

Kathleen Yaremchuk, M.D., Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, said “We are incredibly grateful for the generous support of our Head and Neck Cancer Program and the exceptional care delivered by Dr. Ghanem and our entire dedicated team.”

Dr. Ghanem previously treated Peter Cummings. He and his wife were so impressed with their patient experience they decided to make a donation to support the program.

“Frankly, I could not have said this before I did my own research as I was contemplating where I would seek my own care. But as a community, we are fortunate to have Dr. Ghanem and the Henry Ford Head and Neck Cancer Team,” said Peter Cummings. “They are not only a top ranked program in the country, but I found their personalized approach to care second to none. Julie and I feel so fortunate that we are able to invest in advancements that will only build on the already remarkable care provided at Henry Ford Health System.”

Dr. Ghanem said he was “honored beyond words” to serve as the first endowed chair. “With this generous gift, we will be able to pursue new discoveries in research, expand our excellence in clinical care and establish an even stronger program,” he said.

The gift will be used to support the program’s highest priority strategic needs. This includes funding for surgical innovations and equipment, expanded clinical trials, data analysis to support treatment decisions, facilitating publication of research findings, and other strategic initiatives that drive discovery and improve patient outcomes.



MEDIA ONLY MAY CONTACT: Sal Giacona / sgiacon1@hfhs.org / 313-421-9108

About Henry Ford Health System
Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health System is a nonprofit, academic and integrated health system comprising five acute-care hospitals, destination facilities for cancer and orthopedics and sports medicine, three behavioral health facilities, a health plan and more than 250 care sites, including medical centers, walk-in and urgent care clinics, pharmacies, eye care facilities and other health care services.

The health system has more than 32,500 employees and is home to the 1,900-member Henry Ford Medical Group, one of the nation’s most recognized physician groups. More than 2,500 physicians are also affiliated with the health system through the Henry Ford Physician Network and Jackson Health Network.

Henry Ford Health System is also one of the nation’s major academic medical centers, receiving more than $100 million in annual research funding, among Michigan’s largest NIH-funded institutions. Also, an active participant in medical education and training, the health system has trained nearly 40% of physicians currently practicing in Michigan and provides education and training for other health professionals including nurses, pharmacists, radiology and respiratory technicians.



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