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Pediatric Surgeons Support Patient Families in Need

Imagine you’re already living paycheck-to-paycheck when the unthinkable happens – your child is facing a serious illness or injury.

How will you afford all of the medication? How much will you spend on gas driving to appointments? Will you have to choose between a medical device for your child or paying your heating bill?

John and JoEllen Myers with their grandchild Shelby.

“This is the reality for many families in our community,” remarked John L. Myers, MD, Professor, Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics, Penn State Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Advisory Board member. “As a cardiac surgeon, it’s always difficult to tell a family that their child needs heart surgery. You see the immediate fear on their faces. But then as I begin to explain the anticipated hospitalization and subsequent post-operative follow-up care, it’s as though I can see some parents begin to tally the costs in their mind.  Some of these families need a financial lifeline that will help them with some of these small but important expenditures during their child’s hospitalization and care.”

To help address these financial concerns, Dr. Myers along with his wife, JoEllen, established the CMN Patient Assistance Endowment to help families in financial distress have access to vital services including:

  • food boxes and meal vouchers
  • clothing vouchers
  • gas cards and taxi fares
  • support for prescription medication
  • durable medical devices

Dr. Myers invited several of his pediatric surgeon colleagues to join him. Together with Dr. and Mrs. J. Brian Clark, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Cilley, Dr. and Mrs. Ross Decter, Dr. Mary Santos, Dr. and Mrs. Mark Dias, and Drs. William and Eileen Hennrikus, $66,000 has been pledged to the endowment.

“We’d like to extend our sincerest thanks to John and JoEllen, their colleagues and friends for their generosity and partnership to support this ongoing need at Penn State Children’s Hospital,” remarked Danielle Sunday, CMN Director. “This endowment will help ensure kids and families receive the support they need now and in the future.”

For more information about the endowment or how you may support its growth, please contact Danielle Sunday at or 717-531-5692.