Gift from Danialle and Peter Karmanos to create Center for Natural Birth at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak

Beaumont Health System has announced a $5 million gift from Danialle and Peter Karmanos Jr. that aims to expand safe, natural birthing alternatives for expectant moms in Metro Detroit.

Their gift will create the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth and the Danialle & Peter Karmanos, Jr. Birth Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, in celebration of their four sons – Socrates, Leonides, Spiros and Aristides.

Peter Karmanos Jr. is the retired CEO of Compuware Corporation, a software company he co-founded in Detroit in 1973. He is the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, Plymouth Whalers and Florida Everblades hockey franchises. His donation to the Michigan Cancer Foundation in honor of his first wife, Barbara Ann Karmanos, who died of breast cancer, created the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in 1995.

Danialle Karmanos is the founder of the Detroit-based Danialle Karmanos’ Work It Out, a nonprofit organization that uses a holistic and yoga-based approach to fight childhood obesity in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. She is also a philanthropist, author and community activist who serves on a number of nonprofit boards, as well as an award-winning writer, producer and director.

The new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth, expected to open in late 2014, will combine the comfort of a home-like environment with the safety net of a high-tech hospital if it’s needed. The one-of-a-kind center is designed for holistic care, comfort and safety.

It coincides with a resurging interest in natural childbirth – a mind-body approach to labor and childbirth with no anesthesia or medical interventions.

“We recognize that natural birth isn’t for everyone. But for those who are interested, our vision is to create a first-class environment for more women to have the option of a healthy, safe, natural birth experience,” says Danialle Karmanos.

“Natural childbirth is also an important experience for the father,” adds Peter Karmanos. “You are far more of a participant in the birth. Right now, women believe the only way to have a natural childbirth is at home. We want to change that.”

All four of the Karmanos’ sons were born naturally – including two who were born at Beaumont, Royal Oak.

Ray Bahado-Singh, M.D., chairman, obstetrics-gynecology, Beaumont Health System, says the new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth will be “one-of-a-kind in its scale, its attention to detail and its focus on creating a welcoming, aesthetically pleasing environment, with nurses and physicians trained in the art of natural childbirth, for the benefit of a laboring woman and her family. It recognizes the voices of many women seeking a natural, holistic approach to labor that, in select women, has led to lower rates of medical interventions and C-section deliveries and faster recovery rates.”

The 3,225-square-foot Karmanos Center for Natural Birth will include four deluxe birthing suites with a walking path for laboring mothers, a dedicated nursing station, a waiting area for families and a roof-top garden.

Rooms will be equipped with Jacuzzi tubs and other aids for natural laboring and delivery positions. The patient care team will include obstetricians, midwives, lactation consultants and nurses trained in natural childbirth techniques and integrative medicine techniques, such as aromatherapy, guided imagery, medical music therapy and Reiki therapy.

The Karmanos gift includes funding to train medical professionals in natural childbirth and for prenatal and community education on natural birth. An endowment created through the gift will support research on the benefits of natural birth for mothers and infants.

Beaumont Health System is a three-hospital regional health system in Southeast Michigan with 1,726 licensed beds, more than 14,000 full-time equivalent employees and nearly 3,100 physicians. Beaumont also has 54 community-based sites of care including medical centers, family practice and internal medicine practices, five nursing centers, home care services and hospice. Beaumont is the exclusive clinical teaching site for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Visit

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