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  Children’s National Health System Welcomes First Lady Michelle Obama
December 16, 2013


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Washington, DC—First Lady Michelle Obama visited patients and staff today at Children’s National Health System. The First Lady was accompanied by Bo and Sunny, the family dogs. Mrs. Obama toured the Medical Care Unit, where she met patients and families, as well as doctors, nurses, and other Children’s National staff.

Following her tour, Mrs. Obama arrived in the hospital’s Atrium, where she was greeted by many more patients, families, board members, and staff. In keeping with holiday tradition, Mrs. Obama read the classic ‘Twas the Night before Christmas. Once she finished, children asked the First Lady questions about her favorite holiday traditions. The children’s choir from the Christian Family Montessori School and dancers from the Ballet Arts Academy provided entertainment.

During her visit, Mrs. Obama was escorted by two patients, Isaiah Horst, 14, and Gerardie Johnson, 8.  Isaiah was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, and has been seen at Children’s National since 2002. Gerardie was born with achondroplasia (dwarfism) and has been a patient at Children’s National for six years. 

“We’re so thankful to have the First Lady visit and spread holiday cheer to our children,” said Kurt D. Newman, MD, CEO and President of Children’s National. “As a fellow advocate for children’s health, we appreciate Mrs. Obama taking the time to bring joy to our patients, families, and staff.” 

“Having a special visitor like Mrs. Obama is a wonderful treat for children in our Medical Unit who aren’t able to go home for the holidays,” said Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer for Hospital and Specialty Services, David Wessel, MD.

The tradition of First Lady visits to Children’s National dates back more than 60 years to First Lady Bess Truman. Children’s National Health System is located less than four miles from the White House and is ranked one of the nation’s top pediatric health providers. Children’s  National is also one of the top recipients of NIH funding for pediatric research and is active in advancing research and clinical care that advances the health and well-being of all children.

Contact: Emily Hartman or Caitlyn Camacho at 202-476-4500.

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About Children’s National Health System
Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National’s hospital is Magnet® designated, and is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. With a community-based pediatric network, eight regional outpatient centers, an ambulatory surgery center, two emergency rooms, an acute care hospital, and collaborations throughout the region, Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation