Tours Now Open for DC Design House

DC Design House Front Exterior (Photo by Angie Seckinger)
DC Design House Front Exterior (Photo by Angie Seckinger)

Tickets and tours are now available for the 2015 DC Design House benefiting Children’s National. DC Design House is an annual designer showcase event where top interior designers transforms a home in the Washington area. This year’s featured home is a country estate in McLean, Va., with 28 rooms created by 24 design firms. Tours will run until May 10.  Learn more about the event or purchase tickets.

The DC Design House began in 2008 as a single event in which top area interior design2014-dc-design-house-logo-stackeders showcased their talents into a “flowing-themed design home” to raise money for Children’s National. The event was so successful that business partners Skip and Debbie Singleton, principals of DC Living Real Estate, LLC, along with Sandy Steele and Taylor Wells, formed a 501(c)3 non-profit entity to continue the event annually. In the first seven years, over 55,000 visitors have attended the event, helping to raise more than $1,250,000 for Children’s National in support of the children and their families in our communities.

Register Now for the 2015 Race for Every Child!

Kirsten Lewis-397Be among the first to register for the 2015 Race for Every Child. Our event website is up and running. The third annual 5k run/walk and Kids’ Dash will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, DC. The Race for Every Child is one of the largest community events focused on children’s health in the Washington region and helps ensure that every child treated at Children’s National can receive the same level of world-class service and expert care. “Children’s National is always here for our community,” said Race Director Ashley Husich. “The Race for Every Child is an opportunity for our region to rally around children, have fun, and make a difference.”

Proceeds from the event will help fund specialized medical care, the development of innovative treatments for childhood diseases, and important wellness and preventive services to keep children healthy. Last year, nearly 4,700 people from 27 states, the District of Columbia, and four countries laced up for the race and raised more than $1 million. This year’s goal is $1.2 million.

This year’s Race is co-chaired by Casey and Nick Seidenberg, whose daughter Pippa continues to receive treatment at Children’s National. “There’s nothing that compares to the feeling of crossing the finish line at the Race for Every Child,” Casey Seidenberg said. “It’s a time to celebrate, express gratitude, and have fun. But we know the finish line is just the beginning. Together, as a community we can do more. We can give more children the chance for a healthy life. That’s what the Race is all about.”

Registration is now open at You can sign up as an individual, create or join a team, or simply donate.

Van Metre Companies Help Advance Pediatric Cardiology

2015 03 24 Van Metre Professorship in CardiologyChildren’s National installed Charles I. Berul, MD, as the inaugural Van Metre Companies Professor of Cardiology on March 24. As division chief and co-director of the Children’s National Heart Institute, Dr. Berul and his team improve outcomes for children with congenital heart disease through early detection, complex surgeries, and devices customized for small patients.

“This professorship is an honor,” Dr. Berul said. “It will help my team and me by pushing the envelope of pediatric cardiology research and innovation. It allows me to say ‘yes’ when our cardiologists and team members propose new ideas that may not yet be ready for prime time, but have exciting potential.”

Dr. Berul’s research goal is miniaturization of pacemakers for children with heart rhythm abnormalities. His team is more broadly focused on innovative cardiac device development and clinical and population health for children with heart disease. Dr. Berul’s clinical expertise in heart rhythm disorders has tripled the number of electrophysiology procedures in the catheterization laboratory.

The professorship was made possible by the Van Metre Companies, which has provided top quality homes and investment properties to clients since its founding in 1955. Longtime supporters of Children’s National, the Van Metre Companies and its employees host the annual Van Metre 5-Mile Run, which celebrated its 23rd race in March.

“We are honored that the Van Metre Companies name will be forever associated with Children’s National,” said Mark Batshaw, MD, physician-in-chief and Fight for Children Chair of Academic Medicine. “Their gift will last as long as the hospital lasts — and let me assure you, we will always be here for children.”

23rd Van Metre 5-Miler Raises $185,000

23rnd Annual 5 Mile Run Race Ceremony (17)More than 500 runners participated in the 23rd annual Van Metre 5-Mile Run and 1-mile run/walk on March 21, raising $185,000 for the Heart Institute at Children’s National. A record number of members from the heart team at Children’s National and their families participated. Visit to read more about the event, and view photos here.

Nursing Research: Improving Care for Children and Families

2015 03 05 Palm BeachMore than 140 supporters gathered in Palm Beach, Fla., for the 10th annual “Transforming Children’s Health” program to learn how nursing research is advancing children’s health. According to the Institute of Medicine, 90 percent of healthcare is provided by nurses. As the eyes and ears of the healthcare team, nurses at Children’s National help translate novel ideas into lasting solutions for children through research, an integral part of their role. It is the nurse who is at the bedside to monitor the child and family, make an assessment, and intervene to alleviate suffering.

Speakers included David Wessel, MD, chief medical officer; Kathy Gorman, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Pamela Hinds, PhD, RN, director of nursing research and quality outcomes; and Vicki Freedenberg, PhD, RN, a leading electrophysiology nurse clinician.

“Nurses use scientific methods to study the care that we give and make our care less time-consuming for children, less troubling, and less painful,” said Dr. Hinds, who was named the William and Joanne Conway Chair in Nursing Research last May.

Dr. Hinds highlighted the research her team is conducting to help children with cancer. By listening to the child’s voice and documenting it, medical teams seek to reduce nausea, pain, and other complications. She also discussed research related to end-of-life communications, which is focused on empowering parents by having them define what it means to be a “good parent” in their child’s final days. Researchers document this and share the definition with the child’s entire care team so that the parents’ desires are  embraced and fulfilled by all.

Dr. Freedenberg, a Conway Nursing Research Scholar, then presented her nursing research in helping teenagers cope with the emotional anxieties associated with heart arrhythmias. The study was recently appeared in Pediatric Cardiology, making it the first published study using a mind/body intervention in children with pediatric heart disease.

“We will continue to use our research methods to create new knowledge that will protect pediatric patients and their families,” said Dr. Hinds. “We are deeply committed to this promise.”


Shenandoah Valley Listeners Give $140,000+ for Kids

Superheroes of Southern Maryland join Chris and Rosie at the Q102 Cares for Kids Radiothon.
Super Heroes of Southern Maryland join Chris and Rosie at the Q102 Cares for Kids Radiothon.

The third annual Q102 Cares for Kids Radiothon was an incredible success, raising more than $142,000 for families at Children’s National. The event took place March 12 and 13 at the main atrium at the Sheikh Zayed Campus at Children’s National.

The radio station’s dynamic morning show hosts Chris & Rosie and the Q102 team championed a two-day broadcast dedicated to raising money for the kids treated at Children’s National. The radiothon was filled with energy, joy, and emotion, and the radio airways were filled with stories of local Shenandoah Valley children and families who have received expert care from Children’s National.

“We are so thankful to everyone at Q102 and all the Shenandoah Country listeners who made this possible,” said Megan Summerford, associate director at Children’s National. “Funds from the event will ensure that every child treated at Children’s National will receive expert care, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.” View photos from the event.

Second Annual Hoops Madness Raises $135,000

On March 19, the Children's Health Board held Hoops Madness and raised $135,000 for the kids at Children’s National.On March 19, the Children’s Health Board raised $135,000 for children at the second annual Hoops Madness event. The event featured an NCAA tournament viewing party, silent auction, and awards ceremony honoring champions for children’s health.

The honorees were Jack Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of Fitzgerald Auto Malls; Coach John Jenkins of Just for Kids; Dr. Laura Tosi, director of the bone health program at Children’s National; and Congressman Chris Van Hollen. View photos from the event.

Bella Notte Raises $100,000 for Children with Brain Tumors

Bella Notte PhotoThe Embassy of Italy opened its doors on Feb. 26 to more than 200 people for the 3rd annual Bella Notte (“Beautiful Night”) event, held by Children’s National and the National Brain Tumor Society to celebrate young brain tumor survivors and raise funds to launch a national clinical trial. The event raised more than $100,000 for the trial, which will apply precision medicine to improve brain tumor treatment for children.

Dr. Roger Packer, senior vice president for the Center for Neuroscience & Behavioral Medicine at Children’s National, said, “We are grateful to the National Brain Tumor Society, the Brain Tumor Institute at Children’s National, and our co-chairs, His Excellency Claudio Bisogniero, Ambassador of Italy, and his wife, Laura Denise Bisogniero, for partnering tonight to host this wonderful event. Through innovative research, we hope to help more children survive brain cancer and go on to lead healthy, happy lives.”

Children’s National and the National Brain Tumor Institute have worked collaboratively to care for and cure children diagnosed with brain tumors for several years. Many of the pediatric brain tumor therapies used around the world today were pioneered by Children’s National.

Employees Support Children’s National Mission by Giving $1 Million+

On February 20, campaign leaders attended an appreciation luncheon to celebrate the I Care. I Share. employee giving campaign. Campaign leaders shared tips and tricks on how they increased donations for their departments and discussed how the campaign can be improved for the future. Throughout  2014, employees donated a grand total of $1,065,000 to Children’s National.

The I Care. I Share. campaign celebrated the end of another year of generous employee giving with announcing $1,065,000 raised for Children’s National in 2014. The announcement was made at a campaign leader appreciation lunch on Feb. 20 on the main campus at Children’s National.

The 2014 campaign highlighted how employees make a difference for the kids not only by providing care and medical services to patients and families, but also by creating a healing environment and making Children’s National a home away from home for families. The campaign demonstrated how patients received hope, relief, a friend, a chance to play, a chance to win, and a way home.

“Our employee giving program highlights Children’s National as a leader among its peers,” Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO, told the campaign leaders. “It allows us to recruit the best and brightest, it sets us apart when submitting funding proposals, and it engages the employees in our mission.” View photos of the campaign kickoff in November and the appreciation lunch in February.

Fight For Children Paves the Way for Kids to Breathe Easier

Fight For Children  awarded a $140,000 grant to Children’s National Health System to build upon the IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic’s outreach program in order to train daycare providers, early childhood educators and school nurses on asthma prevention and response techniques, specifically focusing on children between the ages of 2 to 8 years.

Fight For Children, a nonprofit focused on improving the quality of early childhood and K-12 education in Washington, DC, awarded a $140,000 grant to Children’s National to build on the IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic’s outreach program. The grant will help train daycare providers, early childhood educators, and school nurses on asthma prevention and response techniques, specifically focusing on children between the ages of 2 to 8 years. Asthma can be a significant barrier to children fully attending and participating in school.

IMPACT DC is an award-winning pediatric asthma program at Children’s National dedicated to improving asthma care and outcomes for children through clinical care, education, research, and advocacy. One of the main goals of IMPACT DC is to lessen the need for emergency room visits and hospital stays by educating patients and families about ways to manage asthma, and connecting them with valuable resources in the local community.

Learn more about IMPACT DC and Fight For Children.