Oakwood physician honored with humanitarian award

Eileen Donovan, MD, a staff physician at the Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families, is being honored for her work with children who have special needs.

Dr. Donovan, who is also the medical director of the Detroit Institute for Children (DIC), was honored with the Dr. Clarence Livingood Humanitarian Award this week. The award is presented by the CATCH organization and recognizes her work to help children with special needs throughout her extensive career.

“Dr. Donovan understands the struggles of children with special needs on every level and she helps them manage those struggles,” said Tammy Morris, Clinical Program Manager at the CEF. “She finds joy in her interactions with her patients and feels it is a privilege to care for them. She is truly an unsung hero.”

In 1982, Dr. Donovan began her career serving children as a physical therapist at the DIC, a nonprofit provider of therapy for children with special needs. She left the organization in 1992 to pursue a medical degree, returned as a physician in 2002 and has served as the organization’s medical director ever since. She joined the Center for Exception Families in 2011. She has also served as a volunteer consultant and advisor for the State of Michigan, Muscular Dystrophy Association and many other organizations.

“Over her many years with us, Dr. Donovan has given tirelessly and passionately to help children with special needs reach their maximum potential while also advocating for the clinicians who serve these extraordinary children,” said Mark Cleary, President and CEO of the DIC. “She is the heart and soul of our organization, and we are so pleased that she is receiving this well-earned recognition.”

The CATCH organization was founded in 1987 by the late Sparky Anderson and the late Dr. Clarence Livingood to recognize Detroit leaders and raise funds for pediatric patients. Previous recipients of the prestigious Livingood Humanitarian Award include Dr. Colleen Allen, former director of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Henry Ford Hospital; Dr. Ian T. Jackson of Providence Hospital; and Dr. Gyula Acsadi of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Donovan will be recognized formally during the CATCH Night of Champions on October 16 at the Henry Hotel in Dearborn. Also being honored during that fundraising event are Detroit Tigers President, CEO & General Manager Dave Dombrowski; Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Lem Barney; and retired Henry Ford
Health System CFO Thomas McNulty. The three men will be inducted into the CATCH Hall of Fame.