BETHESDA, Maryland (April 15, 2014) – The Children’s Inn at NIH today announced a $5 million contribution from the Merck Foundation to support and maintain programs and services at The Inn’s Woodmont House, a transitional home for patients who are participating in pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Clinical Center. The Woodmont House is “A Place Like Home” for up to five families whose children are no longer in the acute phase of their illnesses but still require treatment. This grant is the Foundation’s second major gift to The Woodmont House since the home, adjacent to the NIH campus, opened in 2010.
The partnership with Merck began 25 years ago with its initial gift of $3.7 million to build The Inn. Merck’s total giving now tops $20 million—a remarkable level of support and commitment to The Inn’s mission.
“The Inn and The Woodmont House would not exist today without Merck’s support,” said Inn CEO Kathy L. Russell. “With more than two decades of generous support of The Children’s Inn, Merck and the Merck Foundation have built a legacy of philanthropy that has touched thousands of lives and will benefit many more seriously ill children and their families who will stay at The Inn in the future.”
Most children who come to the NIH for treatment are facing life-threatening illnesses that resist conventional therapy. Since its opening in 1990, The Children’s Inn has hosted 12,000 children from all over the United States and more than 80 other countries. More than 116 children and their families from 11 states and Puerto Rico, and eight other countries have stayed at The Woodmont House over the past four years. On average, families stay for several weeks or months, and the house has proved to be a perfect space for families with children receiving transplants—which entails a 120-day monitoring period following a transplant. Like all Inn families, they pay nothing regardless of the length of their stay.
“We are proud of Merck’s long-standing partnership with The Children’s Inn,” said Geralyn S. Ritter, president, Merck Foundation. “Continuing our support of The Woodmont House and the Inn naturally ties into Merck’s commitment to improving access to health, and we applaud The Inn’s staff for their tireless efforts in providing a healing environment for so many children and their families.”
About The children’s Inn at NIH
The Children’s Inn at NIH is a residential “Place Like Home” for seriously ill children and their families who travel from across the country and around the world. Families enjoy The Inn’s healing environment while receiving groundbreaking medical treatments at the NIH, the world’s leading biomedical research center. While the NIH takes care of the child’s medical needs, The Inn tends to the child’s heart, soul and spirit. Families stay at The Inn free of charge, no matter how long. childrensinn.org
About The Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck, a global healthcare leader, the Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is Merck’s chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit, charitable organizations. Since its inception, the Merck Foundation has contributed more than $785 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck’s overall mission to help the world be well. For more information, visit www.merckgiving.com