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President Biden surprises families at Children’s National Hospital on Christmas Eve

Biden joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden for an annual First Lady visit to hospital December 24, 2021

Children completing a Christmas Eve art project at Children’s National Hospital unexpectedly had a chance to show off their creations to President Joe Biden. The President joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who was at the hospital to read a story to patients. The First Lady visits are an annual tradition that dates back more than 75 years. However, this year’s visit was the first time a President joined a First Lady for the holiday visit.

“Any visit from President Biden and First Lady Dr. Biden is an honor, but hosting them on Christmas Eve is really special,” said Kurt Newman, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Children’s National. “While we have welcomed many First Ladies around the holidays, as far as we know, this appearance on Christmas Eve is a first, and it is certainly the first time the President has joined the visit. For all the families who are in the hospital rather than home, I know the Bidens’ warm and compassionate nature generated a lot of smiles and excitement during an otherwise difficult time. This is certainly a Christmas that they will not soon forget.”

During the visit the President and First Lady Dr. Biden greeted a group of patients who were in the atrium with the Children's National child life team. The First Lady read “Olaf’s Night Before Christmas” by Jessica Julius to a small group of socially-distanced patients who gathered in front of a Christmas tree. The entire visit was also streamed by the Seacrest Studio to every inpatient room.

“It was such a surprise and honor not just for the kids but also the parents,” said Anne Wise, mom of Ambrose “Beau”, 13, who has been hospitalized at Children’s National for three weeks.

“I couldn’t believe it. They’re people I look up to,” said 13-year-old patient Nell Choi of McLean, Virginia. “It was amazing to meet them in real life and see the joy they brought to the patients today.”

Media contact: Public Relations team | 301-244-6760

About Children’s National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington, D.C., celebrates 150 years of pediatric care, research and commitment to community. Volunteers opened the hospital in 1870 with 12 beds for children displaced after the Civil War. Today, 150 years stronger, it is among the nation’s top 10 children’s hospitals. It is ranked No.1 for newborn care for the fifth straight year and ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s National is transforming pediatric medicine for all children. In 2021, the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus opened, the first in the nation dedicated to pediatric research. Children’s National has been designated three times in a row as a Magnet® hospital, demonstrating 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 care locations in the D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Virginia. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. It 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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