Recognizing a Fearless Leader Who Paved the Way to Humanizing Healthcare for Hospitalized Children and Their Families

The Industry Mourns a True Philanthropist, President & CEO, enCourage Kids Foundation

Michele Hall Duncan & enCourage Kids

On Tuesday, June 7, 2022, the world lost an exceptional person, Michele Hall Duncan, President & CEO of enCourage Kids Foundation (EKF). Michele is recognized for countless accomplishments during her 26-year tenure at EKF. For over two decades, she cultivated relationships with child life staff and all levels of hospital administration and developed an integral understanding of trends in creative therapies as well as the ability to identify and meet the needs of their hospital partners. Michele positioned EKF at the forefront of state-of-the-art programming in pediatric health care.

"All of us at EKF are suffering this significant loss as Michele's infectious smile lit up every room and her 'make it happen' attitude brought success not only to the organization but to our hospital partners as well," stated Joe Wessely, Board Chair, enCourage Kids. "Heaven has gained an angel and Michele will continue to soar."

"From an early age, I've always known that I was sharing my mother with other children," stated Wesley Hall, son of Michele Hall Duncan. "Over the last 26 years, she built a legacy rooted in her empathy for hospitalized kids, their families, and the professionals who stand between them and the medical, logistical, and psychosocial trauma that can accompany childhood illness. Her cancer diagnosis gave her an intimate window into the value of the work to which she dedicated her life. She left the world understanding the significance of EKF's mission in a way that was more visceral and personal than any of us could have imagined pre-diagnosis. She achieved amazing things even in the last 60 days of her life, from dog sledding under the Aurora Borealis, to presiding over a 1.2-million-dollar gala. Cancer certainly shortened her life, but it never quite managed to steal it. I am so proud of her not just as my mom, but as a human being."

Michele was the Board of Trustee's Vice-Chair of Children's Specialized Hospital Foundation; served on the Advisory Board of one of the leading anti-bullying organizations, STOMP Out BullyingTM, for which she received the 2019 Public Service Leadership Award; and was Board Secretary of the NYC chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she also served on the professional advancement committee. Michele graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in advertising and was an active associate member of the Essex Hudson Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. for 10-plus years. CRAIN's New York Business recognized Michele as one of the top Black Leaders and Executives in 2021. Michele has been featured in publications such as Authority, Medium, Thrive Global, Social Lifestyle, Industry Rules, NY Post, Times Square Chronicles, Resident, Impact Wealth, and networks such as Spectrum 1, CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC7 and PIX11, to name a few.

Michele is survived by her loving son Wesley Hall, husband Ron Duncan, her father Earl Ruffin, mother Gwen Robison, and siblings Randall Selvie, Jeffrey Ruffin, Lauren Ruffin, Cynthia Drumgole, Julia Ruffin, Laura Henry, Antoinette Broderick, Hannah, Winston Ruffin, and Patrice Mustaafaa. She will be missed by all whose lives she touched.

EKF will continue with their mission in making hospitals a better place to get better. They envision a world where every child experiences joy, hope, resilience, and emotional healing along their medical journey. www.enCourage-kids.org.

Media: MJ Pedone - Indra Public Relations - MJ@indrapr.com

Source: enCourage Kids Foundation

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Categories: Pre-School, School Libraries, Parenting, Children's Issues, Hospitals and Clinics, Philanthropy

Tags: child life, children, enCourage Kids F, hospitals, Indra Public Relations, Michele Hall Duncan, Wesley Hall


About enCourage Kids Foundation

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enCourage Kids Foundation helps humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community.

enCourage Kids Foundation
1560 Broadway (Suite 600)
New York, NY 10036
United States