In 2018, The Children’s Inn at NIH launched our #INN2025 strategic plan, a transformative journey to advance our role in medical discovery and patient care. To date, we have made considerable progress in our three strategic goals: evolving to a state-of-the-art “smart” living environment, strengthening the integration of discovery and care, and maximizing community support to promote financial viability.
As we reflect on our journey over the past four years, we recognize we have reached a pivotal moment. While there is much work to be done, there are many accomplishments to be proud of, and many seeds planted in the early days are taking root and growing into reality.
Evolve to a state-of-the-art “smart” living environment
First and foremost, we have made great strides in solidifying our vision of designing a state-of-the-art living environment, which we call The Inn of Tomorrow.
We engaged Whiting-Turner Contracting to assist with planning as The Inn’s Pre-Construction Contractor to assist with planning and Perkins + Will to design the renovation of existing guest rooms and communal spaces and an expansion of The Inn’s current footprint. With immersive plans and refined architectural details in hand, our vision is rapidly becoming a reality.
Key design elements of this transformation include a two-story Tower of Hope, an ADA-accessible pedestrian bridge that provides access to the sidewalk across from the Clinical Center sidewalk, a contact respiratory isolation wing, and additional shared multipurpose spaces to foster a sense of community and support for families during their challenging medical journeys.
And all of this will be made possible through a groundbreaking, $50-million capital campaign, “Building Extraordinary.” This campaign, unprecedented in our 33-year history, will strengthen our impact on medical discovery and care, with a reimagined “Place Like Home” that brings new capabilities to our facilities to support children, families, and NIH researchers at every step along their medical journey from hopes to cures. To learn more about Building Extraordinary, please contact our Campaign Director, Christine Clemons, at [email protected].
Groundbreaking in 2024 is no longer an implausible dream, but a tangible milestone on our journey.
Strengthen the integration of discovery and care
The goal of developing vital support programs that better integrate discovery and care also progressed from concept to reality over the past year as we formed and strengthened critical partnerships.
During FY23, we met with medical teams from six of the 14 NIH institutes who refer their families to The Inn to discuss how we can further collaborate and support their pediatric clinical research priorities. During these meetings, we discussed how The Children’s Inn could be involved in preparing for families as soon as clinical trials are approved. This collaboration will allow us to anticipate families’ needs before their arrival and identify barriers that might otherwise keep them from enrolling or continuing to participate in clinical trials.
Through our ongoing collaboration with the National Library of Medicine, All of Us, and the NIH’s Office of Patient Recruitment, we continue identifying resources and new approaches to support patients and their families and removing obstacles to participation in critical research studies. We also continue to work with Clinicaltrials.gov to provide feedback on the website’s instructional content for patient families.
Maximize Community Support and Promote Financial Viability
We are proud of our work in goal three: cultivating a diverse group of leaders, supporters, and volunteers and fostering health equity. Over the past year, the Board Task Force on Health Equity gathered resources to educate our community on the importance of health equity and how we actively advance this initiative in line with The Children’s Inn’s mission.
The task force acknowledged the imperative of integrating The Inn’s commitment to health equity into all aspects of strategic planning, support for patients and families, and partnerships with the NIH. While this goal is still in its early stages, we are prepared to undertake the work required to ensure that Inn leadership, including staff, volunteers, board members, trustees, and our community of supporters, are well-versed in matters of health equity.
To that end, the task force dedicated significant effort this past year to develop a clear statement on The Inn’s unwavering commitment to health equity and devise plans for its continued promotion. These plans include strategic and practical recommendations that align with the #INN2025 strategic framework. The task force also completed a robust interview process last spring, including with Inn families, NIH leaders, and external health equity experts. The insights from these conversations will inform recommendations for Inn leadership as we continue our journey toward creating a more equitable and inclusive environment for all we serve.