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The Children's Inn

The Children's Inn at NIH

25 years 1990-2015

Anniversary Key Messages

Playground at Children's Inn at NIH

Playground and Park at The Children's Inn at NIH.
Photo courtesy of Mahan Rykiel Associates.

  • The Children's Inn at NIH is excited to celebrate its 25th Anniversary! President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, are serving as honorary chairpersons for the year of celebrations, kicking off on June 21, 2014, and continuing throughout the anniversary year of 2015. The Bushes presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony when The Inn became a reality in June 1990.
  • Dr. Philip Pizzo, Chief of Pediatric Oncology at the NIH in the 1980s, observed that parents were congregating with other families in the waiting rooms of the Clinical Center and forming support networks, often reluctant to leave and go back to their respective hotels. It was his concept to create a place on the NIH campus where families could stay together, for free, to facilitate healing through mutual support including therapeutic, recreational, and educational programming.
  • Establishment of The Inn took hard work, dedication and commitment, and the merging of public and private resources. Merck generously donated $3.7 million for The Inn to be built; the NIH donated 2.5 acres of land; and a group of Congressional spouses formed Friends of The Children's Inn and raised money to furnish the facility. The Children's Inn at NIH opened on June 21, 1990, with 37 sleeping rooms.
  • The Inn opened a major expansion in May 2004, adding a new wing with 22 additional sleeping rooms and many other communal and open spaces, such as a teen lounge, arts and crafts studio, multipurpose room, exercise room and a reflection space. Merck donated another $3.7 million for the expansion project.
The Children's Inn, located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, is a unique private, non-profit, family-centered residence for children participating in groundbreaking medical research.
Its mission is to respond to evolving family support needs, including pediatric research and clinical care.
Children and their families stay for free. Before The Inn, families had to stay in area hotels, isolated and at considerable personal expense.
The Inn operates "24/7" serving more than 12,500 patients from 50 states and more than 80 foreign countries since opening.
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The Children's Inn at NIH turns 25 / Anniversary Key Messages / Three Stories

Summer 2014 Issue: Volume 9 Number 2 Page 25