DETROIT – For nearly 60 years, Henry Ford Health System has been the official health care provider for the Detroit Lions, a partnership that embodies the two organizations' perennial support of the communities they serve.
That trusted alliance takes on added significance with today's announcement by the health system:
- Henry Ford has an exclusive arrangement with the Lions on community health events for people and Lions fans of all ages including newborns.
- Henry Ford has an exclusive arrangement with the Lions on health care branding inside Ford Field that showcases the benefits of healthy living and exercise.
Henry Ford has been the official health care provider of the Lions dating back to the 1950s – its longest running collaboration among Detroit's four professional sports teams.
"It's been a privilege serving as the health care provider for the Detroit Lions for nearly six decades," says Wright Lassiter III, Henry Ford's president and CEO. "Our organizations have a shared value for community outreach and spirit to meet the unique needs of the areas we serve across southeast Michigan and beyond."
"Our partnership with Henry Ford Health System dates back generations," said Detroit Lions Team President Rod Wood. "We have been proud to work with them as the healthcare provider for our organization, and just as importantly, a community partner focused on using our platforms to improve health and wellness across the state of Michigan."
Health events planned for the coming weeks and months are intended to raise community awareness and education while giving attendees the opportunity to mingle with current Lions players, and in some cases, notable Lions legends of years past:
- Superhero Ball. The Lions players and their spouses dress up with their favorite superhero costume and visit with children in Henry Ford's SandCastles grief support program. The children have lost a loved one – parent, sibling or classmate – and learn about how to cope with that loss and to celebrate the memories of that person. Monday, Oct. 1, at Ford Field.
- Men's cancer event. Patients will mingle with Lions Legends and current players celebrating their strength in the fight against cancer. Details still being worked out.
- Hospital visits. Lions Legends, along with Roary and Lions cheerleaders, visit patients at Henry Ford hospitals for autographs, photo-ops and more.
Already underway is the newborn program. Now through December, each baby born at a Henry Ford hospital will be outfitted with a Henry Ford Detroit Lions beanie. To celebrate their first birthday, the Lions and Roary will host an invitation-only party at Ford Field in 2019.
Henry Ford's presence will also be notable inside Ford Field. Lining the concourse between Gates G and F are look-a-like trading card wall pairing seven Henry Ford patients with a Lions player, complete with "statistics" and a tagline from the team's official health care provider.
Featured patients Debra Linford, a high school principal living with epilepsy; Tristen Moore, a crayon artist living with asthma; Warren Pettaway, a veteran basketball referee who had a knee replacement; Lynne Wolfe-Rademacher, a breast cancer survivor and double-leash, two-dog wrangler; Donald Robinson, a stage-4 colon cancer survivor and grandfather of seven; Bob Rocheleau, a two-time heart attack survivor and champion mall walker; and Suma Varma, an all-around healthy mom and marathon medalist.
Featured players are defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, running back LeGarrette Blount, linebacker Jarrad Davis, wide receiver Marvin Jones, offensive guard T.J. Lang, cornerback Darius Slay and wide receiver Golden Tate.
In the event fans need medical care at a game, they will be treated at one of five Henry Ford branded first-aid stations located throughout the stadium.
Henry Ford and the Lions will also partner on a youth football camp program, youth football education clinics and clinics to mom and their families about the rules and fundamentals of football. The two organizations have had an ongoing partnership with Game on Cancer, a Henry Ford driven initiative that provides assistance to cancer patients and critical cancer research funding.