Slapshots for a Good Cause: Charity Hockey Classic Raises $67,000

CharityHockey allAt Saturday’s Charity Hockey Classic, the Deloitte Dragons defeated the Booz Allen Minutemen 3-1, but the real winners were the kids and families who will benefit from the successful fundraiser. The 6th annual Charity Hockey Classic brought together hockey players, corporate sponsors, community organizations, and families to support Children’s National Health System at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. Through sponsorships, online fundraising, ticket sales, and a silent auction, the event raised $67,000.

The day featured close games between the Deloitte Dragons and the Booz Allen Minutemen, and between Maryland and Virginia “Friends of Children’s National” teams. The Kettler Mites scrimmaged between the games with Dr. Bear. There were also appearances by the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, the Red Rockers, Robb Spewak and Oscar Santana of the Mike O’Meara Show, and Wes Johnson, the voice of the Washington Capitals. Corporate sponsors included the Washington Financial Group, Yoko Co., Cadre, Booz Allen, and Deloitte.

“This event started in 2009 with a small group of hockey players who wanted to play for a good cause,” said event chair Adam Bartholomew. “We’re thrilled to be able to support Children’s National Health System for the first time this year. Because their mission is so important to families throughout this region, our partnership took the event to a new level.”

Ashley Husich of the Children’s Hospital Foundation said, “People find so many creative ways to raise money for Children’s National — walks, runs, baseball tournaments – but the Charity Hockey Classic was our first hockey tournament. It was obvious that the players, sponsors, partners, and attendees were passionate about hockey, but equally passionate about raising money to help children and families.”

Team captains present a check for $67,000 to Ashley Husich and Dr. Bear of Children’s National.
Friends of Children's National - Maryland team
Friends of Children’s National – Maryland team
Friends of Children's National - Virginia team
Friends of Children’s National – Virginia team
Deloitte Dragons
Deloitte Dragons
Booz Allen Minutemen
Booz Allen Minutemen

Congratulations and thank you to the top 10 players/fundraisers:
1. Shawn Cali, Booz Allen
2. Mark Miller, Maryland
3. Brian Dutton, Virginia
4. Kevin Naderkhani, Virginia
5. J.R. Rudzki, Maryland
6. David Mohler, Maryland
7. Chris Wolske, Deloitte
8. Stephen Pardes, Maryland
9. Chris Yoko, Virginia
10. Malcolm Hyson, Virginia

Healing Without Borders: Cardiac Surgery and Education in Uganda

JK and CSBy 7:30 a.m. at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, the line of children and parents already stretched out the door. Families had traveled a long way to have their children treated for heart disease.

In February 2014, with funding from generous donors, a cardiology team from Children’s National led by Dr. Craig Sable, traveled to Kampala to conduct diagnostic procedures and life-saving treatment on children with serious heart conditions. For 15 years, the cardiac team has visited developing countries to provide care and to train in-country healthcare workers in the procedures they perform. A main goal of the project is to build a sustainable and independent cardiac program at the Ugandan hospital.

On the most recent trip, Dr. Sable and his team worked long hours for two weeks. Along with treating children and training doctors and nurses, they educated families about heart disease so the children could receive proper follow-up care. In Uganda, the team frequently encountered children with the most common congenital heart condition, Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), which severely restricts oxygen from getting to the blood. In the developed world, children born with this condition usually have it repaired by the age of six months, with excellent outcomes. Sadly, in places like Uganda, without surgery, many of these children die before their 10th birthday.

Because of Dr. Sable and the Children’s National team, four very sick 4-year-olds received the surgery. Three of them were operated on the same day—the first time three open-heart surgeries had ever been done in one day in Uganda.

Noel underwent his surgery the following day. Before the surgery, all of them could barely walk from lack of oxygen in their blood. Following the surgery, all the children recovered well. With the skill transfer between doctors from Children’s National and the doctors at Mulago, and an ongoing relationship between the two hospitals, one day soon Ugandan doctors will be able to repair the hearts of children like these, allowing them to live full and hopefully long, healthy lives.

You Are What You Eat: Education Programs Fight Childhood Obesity

Fat or FruitThe numbers are sobering: more than 9 million children between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight or obese—a number that has tripled since 1980. Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. With its world-class Obesity Institute, Children’s National is committed to fighting the national childhood obesity epidemic along two major fronts.


With KiPow™ (Kid Power), area medical students mentor children at three DC public middle schools. The mentors educate, play, and work with the kids in to improve their nutrition, physical activity levels, and health literacy. Funded by the Safeway Foundation, the program has a “pay it forward” element. Once the kids have felt the power of good health, they are encouraged to become health leaders, modeling good choices as they move through middle school and into adolescence. Benefits from this program can spread throughout the DC school district to foster a culture of health and wellness.

The IDEAL Clinic (Improved Diet, Exercise, and Activity for Life) uses a personalized, multidisciplinary approach to treat obese children from the age of 2 through 18. Patients are followed by Children’s National specialists intensively for six months, then with monthly follow-up visits for 12 to 18 months. Each child receives dietary, nutritional, and weight management counseling, along with group health education and physical activity classes. Equally important, parents also receive individual education to create a home environment that encourages their child to properly manage their weight.

Foglia-Hills Professorship Advances Cardiac Research and Care for Children

141015-cnmc-hills-foglia-chair-001Children’s National installed Dr. Nobuyuki Ishibashi as the inaugural Foglia-Hills Professor in Pediatric Cardiac Research on Oct. 15. As director of the Cardiac Surgery Research Laboratory at Children’s National, Dr. Ishibashi is studying neurodevelopmental impairment in children with congenital heart disease. He has fostered a collaborative relationship between cardiac surgery and neuroscience to develop treatment strategies that minimize neurodevelopmental disability associated with CHD.

“This moment would not be possible without the generosity of four very special people,” said Toni Verstandig, chair of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board. “They are Vince and Pat Foglia and Paul and Barbie Hills. For their deep commitment to the children we serve, we offer our heartfelt thanks.”

In 1971 business partners and friends Vince Foglia and Paul Hills co-founded Sage Products, which provides prevention products to hospitals worldwide. Foglia was moved to contribute to Children’s National in support of Paul Baier, Hills’ grandson and the son of Amy and Bret Baier. Over the past seven years, Paul has endured three open heart surgeries, seven angioplasties, and pyloric stenosis surgery.

“I am honored and humbled to carry the Foglia and Hills names in my work,” Dr. Ishibashi said. “We will define new standards of care that maximize intellectual development and reduce or eliminate neurological injuries in children with congenital heart disease,” he said.

Bear Hugs: Engaging Families to Create a More Comforting Experience

DSC_0281With the help of philanthropic support, Children’s National’s child life team and nurses have raised the bar on how we care for kids. Some routine medical procedures— having blood drawn, an IV inserted, or nearly anything involving needles—can be scary to children no matter how brave they are. At these times when they must remain still, kids would rather be hugged than restrained. Parents are taught to perform Bear Hugs Comfort Hold, which calm and relax children facing even the most difficult procedures.

Not only do they help the child get through stressful moments, Bear Hugs also bring parents and family members into the medical process. It is a natural fit, according to Terry Spearman, Child Life Services Manager at Children’s National. In the past, parents often did not want to be associated with the pain their child was experiencing. Now, parents are welcomed and invited by health-care providers to be directly engaged in a comforting way with their child during these procedures.

When a parent uses a Bear Hug, it is much more reassuring and comforting since Mom or Dad is someone well known, trusted, and loved who is helping to keep the child still. The child and parent have more control over the experience with the use of a Comfort Hold, and the child experiences less emotional trauma. A Children’s National staff member and parent says this about the difference Bear Hugs made with her child during treatment:

“Using Bear Hugs with my daughter, who was 13 months old at the time, made all the difference in her comfort during the procedure. She appeared more relaxed by having me hold her while also being in a position that was good for staff. I felt empowered and a part of her care in a way that was second nature to me, just holding my baby. I will never forget that experience.”

Sisters Approach Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb Committed to Help Others

800px-Uhuru_Peak_Mt._Kilimanjaro_2“It’s every human being’s duty to ensure that we leave this world better than we found it,” Cidalia Luis-Akbar said in an interview with the Maryland Business News about her mission to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for babies. Owners of M. Luis, a successful asphalt manufacturer and construction services company, Cidalia and her sister, Natalia Luis, will climb the mountain next month to raise money for the fetal medicine program at Children’s National.

As the article details, Cidalia has a very personal reason for wanting to help more babies survive, and she was grateful for the care that allowed her to give birth to her daughter in 2009. As they scale the 19,341-foot mountain in Tanzania, they will be thinking of their own blessings while helping other families get the specialized health care they need.

The funds they raise will help babies in the Washington area, and will potentially improve care for infants around the world. You can help them reach their goal by making a donation online. Read “Maryland Sisters, Business Leaders to Scale Mountain for Babies.”



Care for Kids Card: Support Children, Save Money at Your Favorite Stores

Shop-Save-Twenty-Percent-e1409612589248Beginning Friday, you can support kids who need health care while saving money at nearly 200 shops and restaurants. For the 11th year in a row, the Board of Visitors for Children’s National Health System’s Care for Kids Card program offers a 20 percent discount at top area retailers with the purchase of a $50 card.

Between Friday and Oct. 26, your Care for Kids Card will help you save at Bloomingdale’s, Brooks Brothers, Henri Bendel, Lilly Pulitzer, Mulberry, and many other home, clothing, and accessory stores, as well as restaurants and bakeries like Georgetown Cupcake and Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place. You can view the complete list online. Cards are available at participating locations and online at the Board of Visitors website. All proceeds from the card sales support Children’s National.

The Board of Visitors for Children’s National provides a critical volunteer force and important source of fundraising for the health system. To date, the board has awarded grants and major gifts to the hospital totaling more than $8 million. These funds help strengthen patient and family care, support research, purchase equipment, and develop innovative patient treatments.

As Nurse and Supporter, a Lifelong Connection to Children

Phillips_Margaret in uniformOver 45 years ago, Margaret Phillips, a trained nurse practitioner, read a newspaper ad for a nurse who could work in the Neonatology Intensive Care Unit, or NICU. “At the time, the NICU was a fairly new concept,” she says. “I applied for the job and got it.”

Later, Margaret and her husband Robert moved to Maryland and she began working in Children’s National’s NICU. Over the next 28 years Margaret watched as neonatology and fetal medicine flourished. “I feel like I’ve lived the history of the field,” she says. “When I began, we lacked the technology to save babies born under three pounds. Today, babies as little as two pounds have a good chance of survival thanks to medical progress and philanthropic investment.”

Now retired, the Phillipses make a point to give back. Last year, they generously completed a charitable gift annuity. “I’ve always been healthcare-oriented,” says Robert, who earned a PhD in health physics, helped develop the standards used in pediatric imaging, and spent 32 years at the Food and Drug Administration.

Inspired by his wife’s work, Robert believes their donation is critical to advancing the cutting-edge research that will continually help revolutionize care for babies. “We, as a society, spend a lot of time and money on advanced treatment that would not be necessary with accessible medical care earlier on. And supporting Children’s National gives sick children a better chance at life.”

Margaret reflects often on her nursing days at Children’s National and has a lot of memories that remind her why their donation is so important. “One day,” she says, “a handsome 17-year-old boy walked in with his mother. I remembered the last time I had seen him as a terribly sick baby. And now he was thriving.” Margaret smiles and adds, “This is the joy in neonatology. Because of the care delivered at Children’s National, kids can go on to lead happy, normal lives.”

What will your legacy be? Learn more about charitable gift planning.

Why Study Rare Diseases?

Elizabeth CiusThe Washington Business Journal recently asked Dr. Marshall Summar, division chief of genetics and metabolism at Children’s National, about a question he frequently hears: “Why do you study rare diseases when they affect so few children?”

His answer is simple: because many of the children and families he sees in the genetics clinic have no answers, and nowhere else to turn. There are more than 7,300 rare diseases, which affect an estimated 18 million to 30 million Americans. About 80 percent of these diseases have a genetic origin, and about half affect children.

Learning more about rare diseases often leads to findings that improve treatment for more common conditions, Dr. Summar said. When using an amino acid to treat a child with a rare condition called urea cycle disorder, doctors discovered a gene related to problems with pulmonary blood pressure. That finding showed doctors that they could use that amino acid helped reduce the risk of problems with pulmonary blood pressure after a child had surgery.

Philanthropy is critical to studying these diseases, because they don’t get the attention or funding that more common conditions get. “While we’re trying to treat [these children], they are some of the best teachers that we have,” Dr. Summar said. “People say, ‘Why study rare diseases?’ This is why.”

Read “Why Children’s National Medical Center is Putting So Much Money into Studying Rare Diseases.”


Washington Area Lexus Dealers Donate $132,500 through Home Run for Kids

Washington Area Lexus Dealers presented a check for $132,500 to Children’s National, marking the conclusion of the Home Run for Kids promotion.
With Screech and Dr. Bear, the Washington Area Lexus Dealers present a check to Children’s National at Nationals Park on Sept. 26.

For the third year in a row on Friday, the Washington Area Lexus Dealers presented a check to Children’s National at Nationals Park, before the start of the Washington Nationals game against the Miami Marlins. The event marked the conclusion of the Home Run for Kids promotion, through which the the Washington Area Lexus Dealers donated to Children’s National for every Nationals home run in the 2014 season. Combined with Lexus’s support of the 2014 Children’s Ball, the total contribution was $132,500.