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Children's National Hospital launches $500 million campaign to transform pediatric health

Philanthropy will drive lifesaving solutions for children and families

Children’s National Hospital today announced a campaign to raise $500 million by 2023 to deliver lifesaving care and research for kids. follow the leader is the hospital’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign in more than a decade.

Children’s National is one of the nation’s top 10 children’s hospitals and No. 1 for newborn care, according to U.S. News & World Report. It’s also home to the nation’s first pediatric research and innovation campus, which opened earlier this year and houses the Children’s National Research Institute and its more than 600 scientists.

“As one of the oldest independent children’s hospitals in the country, philanthropy has always played a significant role in our ability to deliver high-quality care to children, improve the health of our community and conduct ground-breaking research,” says Kurt Newman, M.D., President and CEO of Children’s National Hospital. “This campaign will directly contribute to lifesaving and life-changing advancements for the betterment of children everywhere. I invite all philanthropists, child health advocates and community members to partner with us, so that working together, we can help even more children grow up stronger.” 

follow the leader is inspired by the hospital’s pediatric patients and care providers. It highlights five bold initiatives where the hospital excels and where philanthropy can transform pediatric medicine:

  • Pioneering Prenatal Pediatrics: We will ensure the best care for mothers and high-risk babies before birth and through their first year by expanding our Developing Brain Institute, developing more precise treatments for pre-term babies, and advancing non-invasive surgical techniques and high-quality imaging.
  • Trailblazing Treatments for Complex Conditions: We will produce lifesaving clinical advancements for sick kids by investing in the nursing workforce of the future, transforming cardiac and colorectal surgery, empowering cancer survivors and accelerating research in using  non-invasive focused ultrasound technology to treat conditions such as brain tumors, epilepsy and movement disorders. 
  • Spearheading Integrated Mental Health Care: We will address the mental health crisis by creating new pathways to support families before they need emergency care by embedding mental health specialists in primary and specialty care clinics, expanding screenings and care coordination, and creating a model suicide-prevention program.
  • Strengthening Community Through Access to Care: We will expand our work to identify and address racial inequities that prevent families from getting the care they deserve through expanded K-12 programming and nurse training, coordinating with early childhood centers and establishing a mental health policy lab within our advocacy institute.
  • Revolutionizing Care Through Pediatric Discoveries: We will improve children’s health today and in the future by expanding our Rare Disease Institute, unlocking the secrets of autism and developmental disorders, advancing precision medicine and cell therapy treatments and conducting a range of research studies that transform how we care for kids.

“Philanthropic funding plays a crucial role in research and our abilities to address problems in pediatric clinical care,” says Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D., interim chief academic officer. “Because our research program is completely integrated with our clinical care program, Children’s National has a unique environment where researchers and clinicians can collaborate and together lead us into the future.”

Every gift to Children’s National counts toward the follow the leader campaign’s $500 million goal. 

The campaign’s co-chairs are Amy and Bret Baier, Izumi and Dave Levy, Jennifer and Jimmy Reyes, Cinthia and Horacio Rozanski and Carrie and David Marriott. 

“When the ambulance came, I insisted they take Henry to Children’s National,” says Carrie Marriott, a longtime volunteer, advocate, grateful parent and donor. “I knew that he would receive the best clinical care for his burns, and also get the best nursing care, the best child life support, and the best care for our entire family. Every other scared parent or family from our community will receive this same level of care and compassion from Children’s National, too.”

“David and I thank Children’s National for their dedication to improving the lives of children in our community and those around the world. Our commitment to Children’s National is paralleled in their commitment to all of us.”

To learn more about follow the leader, visit

Media contact: Morgan McKean | 251-421-1111

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