Skip to main content

Serving the nation’s children for more than 150 years, Children’s National Hospital has been an innovator in pediatric healthcare around the nation and around the world.

Children’s National was one of the nation's first children’s hospitals, opening in 1870 and growing from a modest 12-bed facility to a 323-bed facility that performs more than 17,000 surgeries and conducts more than 649,000 outpatient visits in more than 60 specialties each year.

Formerly referred to as D.C. Children’s Hospital, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of pediatric care in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Today, the health system includes primary care health centers, regional outpatient centers, and affiliated pediatric primary and specialty care practices throughout the metropolitan area, in addition to providing tertiary care in our main hospital. Additionally, we’re home to the Children’s National Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, as well as the Heart Center, the Gilbert Family Neurofibromatosis Institute, the Brain Tumor Institute and the IDEAL Obesity Program.

Throughout our history, we have witnessed tremendous growth and change in pediatric healthcare. The current marketplace is in the midst of unprecedented change, and Children's National is committed to staying in front of the curve.


    2011 to present









    • Second national summit is convened to advance mental healthcare for children.
    • Children's National launches "Grow Up Stronger" advertising campaign that speaks to the work we do, the families we support, and the kids we help.
    • Surgeons and scientists from Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children's National Health System are the first to demonstrate that supervised, autonomous robotic soft tissue surgery on a live subject is feasible and outperforms standard clinical techniques.
    • Children's National launches new Congenital Zika Virus Program.


    • Designated for a second time as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery.
    • Grand opening of Seacrest Studios.
    • Becomes the first freestanding pediatric hospital to publish provider satisfaction ratings online.
    • New primary care offices open in Foggy Bottom and Capitol Hill.
    • Children's National doctors use MR-HIFU to destroy bone tumors without scalpels or needles.


    • Fetal Medicine Institute (now the Zickler Family Prenatal Pediatrics Institute) opens its doors at Children's National.
    • Children's National convenes first-ever national summit to advance mental healthcare for children.
    • Washington Business Journal announces Children's National Health System as the most powerful brand and Kurt Newman, MD as one of the most admired CEOs in the Washington, DC metro region.
    • Children's National is designated as national Ebola-ready treatment center.
    • Children’s National launches a redesigned website to engage and inform patients and their families.
    • The first Sheikh Zayed Prize for Pediatric Device Innovation awards $50,000 in funding to two winners.


    • Children’s redefines and repositions its brand, changing the logo and name for the first time since 1985 to Children’s National Health System, which reflects how we’re no longer just a hospital, but a comprehensive health system for kids—providing everything they need for their care, whether it is well visits, or a hospitalization.
    • One-of-a-kind Pain Medicine Care Complex, which revolutionizes the way children are treated for pain, opens.
    • Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex opens.


    • New Cardiac Intensive Care Unit opens.
    • Blood and Marrow Transplantation opens a new outpatient unit.
    • Outpatient radiology facility, the Montgomery County Regional Outpatient Center, opens in Rockville, Md.
    • Seven new operating rooms open as part of a phased overhaul to the entire OR suites, bringing totals to 17 operating rooms and two GI procedure rooms.
    • New research space opens for the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, possible by a historic gift of $150 million from the government of Abu Dhabi - the largest gift ever made to support pediatric surgery, and one of the largest to any children's hospital.

    Facts at a Glance

    Our Fast Facts provides you with everything you need to know about Children’s National – from our locations to our specialty care programs to our research initiatives.


    Related Photo Galleries

    New Robot in the Cardiac ICU

    After a three-month voting period, the robot's name was revealed during an interview. Dr. Bear Bot delivered Valentine's Day cards to doctors and patients following the interview.

    dr bear bot with dr lopez shown waving on the screen
    three women speaking into radio microphones
    monique powell in radio studio
    Dr. Atabaki and Monique Powell sitting down with red balloons and Dr. Bear Bot
    dr atabaki and monique sitting down with red balloons and dr bear bot
    dr atabaki, monique and dr bear bot speaking into microphones
    dr. bear bot, dr. lopez and monique hold valentine card for infant on a hospital bed
    monique and dr. bear pose with parents and an infant sleeping on a hospital bed
    dr bear bot in hospital hallway with four doctors and nurses
    dr. lopez in a nine-screen virtual command center
    two doctors standing in front of computer screens
    two white dogs wearing red bandanas on their collars