Akron Children’s Hospital receives $1.2 million for pediatric palliative care endowed chair

The Sarah Elizabeth Friebert, M.D. Leadership Chair in Pediatric Palliative Care is the first of its kind in the U.S.


Akron Children’s Hospital has received $1.2 million to create an endowed chair for its pediatric palliative care services. As the founder and medical director of the Akron Children’s Hospital’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center, Sarah Friebert, MD will be the first chair holder, and the chair will be named in her honor.

Made possible by donations from the Haslinger Family Foundation and other leadership gifts, the Sarah Elizabeth Friebert, MD Leadership Chair in Pediatric Palliative Care is believed to be the first endowed chair of its kind in the United States.

The endowed chair will distribute assets in perpetuity and provide vital funds for the support of palliative care’s clinical, educational and research activities. Named endowed chairs, while more common in academic settings, recognize the transformational work of the initial chair holder, and play an increasingly crucial role in the recruitment of pediatric specialists.

Founded by Dr. Friebert in 2002, the physicians, clinicians and volunteers at the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center work with children and their families to enhance quality of life and minimize suffering for patients with chronic or complex illnesses. Palliative care patients receive comprehensive, interdisciplinary support to address the physical, emotional and spiritual issues that may contribute to suffering or interfere with healing.

The Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center is one of the largest pediatric palliative care programs in the U.S. and is nationally recognized as a model for other such centers.

“Dr. Friebert has made an unparalleled commitment to the patients and families at Akron Children’s. Her advocacy is inspiring, and she’s my hero,” said William Considine, president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital. “Her innovative leadership here and nationally has grown this important area of pediatric care so families are cared for when they are most in need.”

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Haslinger Family Foundation and our other donors for making this possible,” Considine added. “Their gifts provide a solid foundation for the enrichment of our pediatric palliative care services.”

A frequent lecturer and visiting professor nationwide, Dr. Friebert has authored numerous articles, book chapters, commissioned papers and abstracts, and served as a reviewer for many peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Friebert has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Achievement Award, and she has current membership and most often holds leadership positions on more than 15 national boards and committees focused on the advancement of pediatric palliative care initiatives.

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