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For kids who can't be home for the holidays, First Lady brings cheer to Children’s National Hospital

December 15, 2020
First Lady Melania Trump visits Children's National

WASHINGTON —On Tuesday, December 15, First Lady Melania Trump visited Children’s National Hospital. The First Lady visits are an annual tradition that dates back more than 70 years to Bess Truman, who stopped by to see families who weren't able to spend their holidays at home.

“Like all things in 2020, this year's visit looked a bit different, but our children and families were delighted to meet the First Lady. It's always a wonderful way to spread cheer to those who spend their holidays with us," said Kathy Gorman, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., executive vice president for Patient Care Services and chief operating officer at Children's National. "As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Children’s National, the tradition of First Lady visits has been a special part of our history. We're pleased to be able to offer a safe way to continue this tradition."

During this year's visit, the First Lady read “Oliver the Ornament Meets Marley & Joan and Abby” by author Todd Zimmerman to a small group of socially-distanced patients who gathered in front of a Christmas tree in the hospital atrium.

“It was an honor to be here today to check out of everyday life and come to the hospital for something fun. It meant so much to me but it also meant so much to Sofia,” said Pamela Martinez, mom of 8-year-old Sofia Martinez and patient who was present for the First Lady’s visit. “She’s two months post-op and it hasn’t been easy with COVID and being quarantined. We are very honored to have been able to come to the Seacrest Studios, her favorite place, to just enjoy and meet the wonderful, beautiful Mrs. Trump."

The First Lady also visited Children’s National Seacrest Studios, where she played two rounds of holiday bingo with children. Thanks to technology within the studio, the games were broadcast to the hospital’s 323 inpatient rooms, allowing some patients to play along and speak with the First Lady during the games.

Ten-year-old patient Stephanie from Leesburg, Va., participated in the bingo game. “I felt special because I know this opportunity is like a needle in a haystack,” she said. “I felt like one in a million of patients that did this cool thing with Mrs. Trump, who’s like a celebrity.”

Media contact: Beth Riggs | 202-476-4500

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 fourth 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 2020, construction will be complete on the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus, the first in the nation dedicated to pediatric research. Children's National has been designated twice 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 outpatient centers in the D.C., metropolitan area, including the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and is the nation’s seventh-highest NIH-funded children’s hospital. 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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