Response to Detroit Free Press

Today’s Detroit Free Press story regarding the Make Your Date program grossly misrepresented the facts.

Detroit has the highest preterm birth rate in Michigan. Pregnant women in this city deserve access to the latest medical research and education to help them have healthy babies. That’s why the City of Detroit turned to Wayne State University, the leading university in the nation in this field, to help develop a program to help reduce preterm birth.

The Free Press story is factually wrong: no city funds were ever provided to a Make Your Date non-profit and no private money was ever raised for it. Every dollar of city funds went directly to Wayne State University

The reporters knew, but failed to include, that Dr. Hassan, a nationally known expert in preventing preterm birth, provided her expertise to Make Your Date on a completely voluntary basis. She never accepted a dime from the program.  Every dollar provided to Wayne State went to direct services for women enrolled in the program.

One thing the story got right is that “there has been no suggestion that Make Your Date or Hassan have misused any funds.”  

The bottom line is this: The City of Detroit worked with Wayne State University to develop a program to help high risk women to deliver healthy babies.  Dr. Hassan didn’t receive any compensation from Make Your Date to help in this effort.  Our actions as a city have been completely proper. No ethics rule, law or ordinance have been violated in the city’s support for Make Your Date. 

Alexis N. Wiley

Chief of Staff