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Children's National CEO: Despite Challenges, Children's Hospitals Should Strive for "What's Possible"

Orlando, FL – Despite the challenges that hospitals and health systems face, children’s hospitals must continue to think big about what’s possible for kids, said Kurt D. Newman, MD, president and CEO of Children’s National Health System of Washington, DC. Newman addressed more than 1,000 hospital leaders, corporate and media partners, philanthropists, and fundraisers at the annual “Celebration” conference at the Walt Disney World® Resort’s Coronado Springs Resort.

While acknowledging the uncertainty of the current health environment, Newman asked corporate leaders and other philanthropists to “challenge us to think bigger, to be more ambitious. To focus not just on where the need is today, but where the promise is tomorrow.” He also challenged other pediatric leaders to “move beyond just closing the gaps. Dare to re-imagine and even revolutionize the children’s experience in your hospitals.”

Philanthropy must play a dual role of funding big ideas and meeting immediate needs, he said. “The business model is changing, and we need philanthropy to help us close the gap where our operations fall short. Obviously, these big changes are affecting all hospitals and health systems, not just pediatrics. But the need is even greater in children’s hospitals.”

Newman explained that children’s hospital are different because of the need to pay for many things that aren’t reimbursed, such as art and music programs, special activities like birthday parties, and child life specialists who support to children and the entire family.

“These things may or may not be considered necessary from a medical perspective. But they’re essential to providing the kind of care that’s right for kids,” Newman said. “These are the things that tell a family, ‘This is a special place for kids.’ And they’re getting harder to provide.”

Newman’s speech at CMN Hospitals’ Celebration conference kicked off a two-day symposium for 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada on how to face healthcare challenges while raising funds and awareness to benefit children.

About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.7 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity's Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit's mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children's hospitals need community support, and learn about your member hospital, at

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