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Children’s National Health System Welcomes First Lady Michelle Obama

December 16, 2013
First Lady 2013 Holiday Visit opens a book

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.

About Children's National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is one of the nation’s Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. 

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Children’s National Health System Welcomes First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama visited patients and staff today at Children’s National Health System.