In June 1990, The Children's Inn at NIH opened its doors to pediatric patients and their families. Since then The Inn has been in continuous operation: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Our doors never close. During the past 24 years, more than 12,712 seriously ill children and their families have made 50,000 visits to The Inn.
Children and families travel from all over the world to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) because conventional treatments have failed to have sufficient impact on their illnesses. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, NIH is the world's premier biomedical research facility. Children receive treatment for illnesses such as cancer, heart, lung, blood, bone and growth disorders, mental illnesses, and HIV infection.
The warmth and camaraderie of The Inn stand in sharp contrast to the isolation of a hotel room. In the lively atmosphere of The Inn, the kids and their families can put aside the challenges they face. The Inn gives kids a place to be kids for a while, instead of patients. At the end of the treatment day, they leave behind the IV drips, the needles, the nurses and doctors to return to The Inn and, most importantly, to the comforting presence of their families and caring staff and volunteers.
The overriding philosophy at The Children's Inn is that families make a difference in the lives of their sick children. To treat a patient effectively, the healthcare team must care for the family and child as one. The emotional comfort a family gives to a sick child and the mutual support among kids and families who share the same experience together are invaluable.