Major Gifts

The Founders Auxiliary Board’s Major Gift Program strengthens existing hospital services and establishes the foundation for innovative and transformative research at Children’s National. Major Gifts are made in close collaboration with hospital leadership in response to a defined strategic need or an urgent request.

The Founders Auxiliary Board honors the impact of our legacy boards, Children’s Health Board and The Board of Visitors. Listed below are past major gifts that funded critical needs and innovative programs that paved the way for Children’s National to provide exceptional care to children in our community.

July 2022 – Sickle Cell Pain Management

The Founders Auxiliary Board gifted $1 million to the sickle cell team at Children’s National Hospital to launch a first-of-its-kind, personalized holistic transformative program for the management of pain in patients with sickle cell disease. Children’s National has one of the largest sickle cell programs in the country, serving 1,500 children living with the disease.

The clinic uses an inter-disciplinary approach of hematology, psychology, psychiatry, anesthesiology/pain medicine, acupuncture, mindfulness, relaxation and aromatherapy services. These strategies taught in the clinic allow patients to manage their pain effectively by improving self-efficacy, coping mechanisms and encouraging use of non-opioid and non-pharmacological modalities for pain management.

Read more about the impact of this gift.

January 2021 – D.C. Teacher and Staff Vaccinations

In January 2021, more than 300 Children’s National Hospital volunteers vaccinated 3,400 District of Columbia Public and Charter School teachers and staff for COVID-19. In February, they administered the required second dose. These vaccination clinics were a true team effort and essential to providing our community’s children safe, in-person education.

This mass COVID-19 vaccination initiative — believed to be the largest of its kind in the District — was possible thanks to two $75,000 grants from Children’s Health Board and The Board of Visitors. The two boards have supported exceptional clinical care and pediatric research at Children’s National since the hospital’s founding 150 years ago. Read more about D.C. Teacher and Staff Vaccinations.

May 2019 – Telehealth Command Center

The Board of Visitors gifted $1.3 million to build a virtual command center which provides 24-hour monitoring and care of the most critically-ill patients in the CICU and NICU at Children’s National Hospital. Similar to a “situation-room,” the Command Center uses technology to monitor and predict outcomes, providing an additional resource to ensure better safety and end results. In addition to monitoring the patients within the Children’s National Hospital network, this virtual center also provides local, national and international hospitals greater access to our highly-qualified medical specialists in order to save more children’s lives.

January 2018 – Molecular and Cellular Immunotherapy Initiative

The Board of Visitors awarded $1.5 Million to accelerate progress toward breakthroughs in both cell based and molecular immunotherapy. Specifically, these funds will support:

  1. Expansion of laboratory and manufacturing facilities and personnel to produce cell therapy products
  2. Clinical trials for development of cell therapy related protocols for treatment of patients with brain tumors, primary immune deficiencies, and food allergies
  3. Pilot projects for a cancer vaccine and for therapeutic antibody development
  4. A bioinformatics core and development of humanized animal disease models

The scientific discoveries in these areas will speed the delivery of new treatments and cures developed specifically for pediatric patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases to improve the survival and quality of life for these children.

January 2017 – Epilepsy and Functional Neurosurgical Imaging Center

The Board of Visitors awarded $200,000 to William Gaillard, MD, Chief, Epilepsy and Neurophysiology. Our funding will help expand treatment opportunities for children with epilepsy.

September 2015 – Pediatric Dental Clinic

The Children’s Health Board awarded a $500,000 grant to renovate the Children’s National Pediatric Dental Clinic. The new clinic which opened in 2017 ensures that the 10,000 children and their families who come to Children’s National for dental care every year will now have access to comprehensive oral health care. The overhaul of the Dental Clinic included doubling the size of the patient waiting room; expanding access areas to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and hospital beds; and updating the clinic’s technology, including state-of-the-art imaging and fully digitized health records. Digital displays in each room of the clinic allow the care team to pull up patient health records and demonstrate procedures for parents and patients. New equipment includes a portable X-ray machine and a soft tissue laser. This Major Gift also covered education services and enabled the Pediatric Dental Residency Program to accept more candidates.

May 2015 – Seacrest Studios

The Board of Visitors awarded $400,000 to the launch of the Seacrest Studios at Children’s National. The Ryan Seacrest Studios at Children’s National is the 9th state-of-the-art broadcast studios and media center to be opened at a major children’s hospital in the country. The Seacrest Studios enables children while in the hospital to explore the creative realms of radio, television, new media, and educational programming. Patients have access to the programming whether they are in the studios physically or in their room via closed-circuit TV. By raising a child’s spirit and tapping into their imagination this resource will encourage coping and promote healing during treatment.

May 2014 – Cerebral Palsy Prevention Program

The Board of Visitors awarded $700,000 to launch The Board of Visitors Cerebral Palsy Prevention Program. The program’s launch will allow for the accelerated testing of new treatments and rapidly apply them to babies with a high risk of developing life-long neurological disabilities. The program will also forge new collaborations between clinicians and researchers and raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy among policy-makers and future philanthropic supporters.  In part due to the BOV’s funding and partnership, Children’s National expects that new solutions will be found to protect the brain development of the most fragile newborns as well as mitigate the effects in children living with Cerebral Palsy.

February 2013 – Genetic Medicine / Program for Personalized Pediatric Cancer Research

  1. The Board of Visitors Awarded $495,293 to purchase a state-of-the-art Q Exactive Mass Spectrometer for the Proteomics Core Facility of the Research Center for Genetic Medicine. Mass spectrometers identify and quantify proteins (the building blocks of all life) in biological samples. The Q Exactive monitors how proteins change in a disease state or in response to treatment, providing greater insight to disease and therapeutic biology. It provides a ten-fold increase in capabilities and is the most advanced equipment of its kind to come to the DC metropolitan area. This technology is applicable to any disease or therapy and will immediately benefit more than 30 laboratories at Children’s National and throughout the DC area.
  2. The Board of Visitors Awarded $600,000 to fund The Board of Visitors Program for Personalized Pediatric Cancer Research in the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at Children’s National. This gift helps Children’s National become one of the few hospitals in the country to launch comprehensive research to personalize cancer treatment for children.

October 2012 – Palliative Care Services

The Board of Visitors and the Children’s Health Board each awarded $150,000 for a total of $300,000 to expand Palliative Care Services at Children’s National—known as the Pediatric Advanced Needs Assessment (PANDA) care team. Children’s National can now provide a more comprehensive interdisciplinary palliative care team. The PANDA team addresses the psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families, from the time of diagnosis of a potentially life-limiting illness through survivorship, or end of life, if that is the ultimate outcome. Because there are no other dedicated pediatric hospice or palliative care services in the DC metropolitan area, this funding fulfills a crucial need in the community.

May 2011 – Simulation Learning Program

The Board of Visitors announced a Major Gift to Children’s National of $1 Million to develop The Board of Visitors Simulation Learning Program—one of America’s most advanced pediatric simulation programs. The Program provides a safe, non-threatening environment for clinicians to practice procedures and mimic emergency situations tailored specifically for their areas of practice and helps improve the quality and safety of patient care.  This gift represents an ongoing commitment by The Board of Visitors to support simulation training at Children’s National. In 2006, The Board awarded a Major Gift in the amount of $250,000 to create and equip The Board of Visitors Simulation Learning Center. The Center, comprised of two patient care areas, contains state-of-the-art technology and provides a more realistic learning experience for caregivers.

September 2008 – Obesity Institute

In 2008, the Children’s Health Board agreed to become a founding sponsor of the Obesity Institute at Children’s National Hospital. The Board pledged a total of $500,000 over five years to help combat the crisis of obesity in the District of Columbia — where over 40 percent of the children are now overweight or obese. Children’s National and Children’s Health Board are proud to lead the nation in helping to create innovative solutions to this crisis through effective and compassionate treatment, advocacy and public policy, research and education. 

September 2006 – Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI)

With the encouragement of Children’s Health Board Honorary Board Member Diana Goldberg and her generous offer to provide matching funds of $500,000, in September 2006, Children’s Health Board committed a total of $1 million over five years as a founding sponsor of CHAI and the CHAI Data Lab. These funds supported the establishment of an operational infrastructure that included: executive leadership, professional personnel, administrative support staff, office space and state-of-the-art technological and connectivity resources specifically for the CHAI Data Lab.

CHAI evolved out of Children’s National Hospital’s establishment of the nation’s first hospital-based Office of Child Health Advocacy in 1973, one year after the hospital board designated the Children’s Health Board as the Advocacy and Outreach board of the institution. CHAI was created as one of the hospital’s “Centers of Excellence” to proactively address health threats impacting children and to serve as an influential voice in the development of child health policy. The Child Health Data Lab serves as the engine driving CHAI’s advocacy policies by collecting data from the hospital and the community pediatric health centers. The Data Lab positions CHAI to analyze health indicators, conduct research, publish reports, make policy recommendations and develop program interventions that not only benefit children locally, but nationally as well.

Board members together after a race

I’ve been on several philanthropic boards but nothing like this one. This is an amazing group of bright and energized women who can roll up their sleeves, get to work and accomplish anything we set out to do. I have so much respect and admiration for our dedicated Board who, simply put, make things happen.

– Sandy, Honorary Member