Listeners Make a Difference for Kids

Catherine Manno, MD, shares how patients and families at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital have benefitted from the Hope for the Holidays Radiothon

Last December, 106.7 LITE FM listeners generously gave over $1.3 million to our Hope for the Holidays Radiothon. We invited Catherine S. Manno, MD, the Pat and John Rosenwald Professor of Pediatrics and chair of the Pediatrics Department, to share her perspective on how LITE FM’s listeners are making a difference for kids at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.


Dr. Katie Manno, the Pat and John Rosenwald Professor of Pediatrics and chair of the Pediatrics Department, is grateful to 106.7 LITE FM listeners’ generosity that helps patients at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. 

How has the $1.3 million donated by LITE FM listeners helped the kids at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital?

LITE FM’s listeners have made an incredible impact on every aspect of care at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. Their donations help us makes sure we have the right equipment at the right time like echocardiography tools that allow our experts to diagnose and treat congenital heart issues in infants and children. We also rely on it to provide specialists to deliver consistent emotional support and therapeutic services to virtually every child and their family who stays in the hospital through our Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care.

They have made it possible for us to provide the best medical care for children in a kind and warm environment.


In the past year, many new medical and surgical programs have been introduced at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. What are you most excited about?

It has been quite a year! Our new solid organ transplant programs allowing children with diseased organs to receive new hearts, lungs, and kidneys have made an enormous difference on many children and families in our community. Replacing a diseased organ with a healthy one is truly a miracle of modern science. Our clinical teams have successfully transplanted new organs making these children's lives significantly better, which allowed them to return to their schools and even start college.

Our cardiac surgery program is among the best in the country. From diagnosis to pre-operative and post-operative care, our team works collegially and carefully to make sure that each child who undergoes open heart surgery has a great outcome.


Researchers at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital focus on finding real world solutions for real world problems. What areas are they focused on now?

Our researchers focus on three core areas of children’s health — the environment, school preparedness, and healthy weight.

Our scientists aim to protect children from environmental hazards. They study how children might be unwittingly exposed to toxins in the environment and how those toxins may impair their growth and contribute to chronic childhood conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.

Research into childhood illnesses relies on philanthropy, and the generous people who support Radiothon help make our work possible.

Catherine S. Manno, MD
Chair, Department of Pediatrics 

Our researchers have learned that children who are exposed to more words and pictures early are better prepared for preschool and kindergarten. So we help parents connect with their children through reading, which better prepares them for school.

We also have a behavioral health program focused on educating expectant mothers about feeding their babies and toddlers. Our scientists discovered that if a three year old has a healthy weight, they are more likely to have a healthy weight later in life and that can lead to better health overall. 

Research into childhood illnesses relies on philanthropy, and the generous people who support Radiothon help make our work possible.


As we head into the summer, what are your top tips for families with children?

Skin safety is so important—especially in the summer. In the morning, every child should apply sunscreen to protect their skin and reapply throughout the day to avoid sunburns and long-term damage.

I also recommend that children wear sunglasses. Just like with skin, the sun can damage our eyes. Children’s eyes are still maturing and cannot filter out the harmful ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun as effectively as adults’ eyes. By wearing sunglasses, kids can avoid short-term effects like photokeratitis or “snow blindness” and long-term effects that may include cataracts and macular degeneration.

And finally, taking a swim in a pool or lake feels wonderful, but it can also be dangerous. Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children, especially those ages one to four and teens. Most kids with nonfatal drowning injuries will visit an emergency room, and half will need hospital care. It is so important that adults carefully monitor kids of all ages around swimming pools, hot tubs or any body of water.