The Inn Welcomes Contingent from the Department of Health & Human Services



BETHESDA, Md. — July 21, 2023 — The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) welcomed visitors from the United States Public Health Service Comissioned Corps, Commissioned Officer Association, Commissioned Officer Foundation, and the Warrior Canine Connection on Friday for a tour and activities with the families staying at The Children’s Inn. Rear Admiral Denise Hinton, the United States Deputy Surgeon General, and Rear Admiral Richard Schobitz, the Commissioned Corps Headquarters Director, highlighted the event.


“We are honored that Rear Admiral Hinton and Commissioned Corps Leadership chose to visit the children and families at The Inn,” said Jennie Lucca, CEO of The Children’s Inn. “Their visit underscores our shared commitment to ensuring quality healthcare for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances, and supporting the groundbreaking research conducted at the NIH.”


Upon their arrival, the contingent was taken on a tour of The Inn by Lucca, interacting with families and staff along the way. Following the tour, Lucca introduced Admiral Hinton at a small reception held on The Inn’s playground.


Admiral Hinton greeted the families staying at The Inn and introduced them to Lieutenant Commander Abigail, a two-year old Labrador Retriever who was making her debut as the mascot for the USPHS Commissioned Corps. Lieutenant Commander Abigail was trained by the Warrior Canine Connection in connection with the Commissioned Officer Association and Commissioned Officer Foundation, programs which Admiral Hinton highlighted in her remarks to the families. She and the rest of the HHS party also participated in a slime-making science experiment with children staying at The Inn.


Warrior Canine Connection is a pioneering organization that utilizes a Mission Based Trauma Recovery model to empower returning combat Veterans who have sustained physical and psychological wounds while in service to our country. Based on the concept of Warriors helping Warriors, WCC’s therapeutic service dog training program is designed to mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other challenges, while giving injured combat Veterans a sense of purpose, and help in reintegrating back into their families and communities.


The Children’s Inn at NIH is a private, nonprofit “Place Like Home” for children and their families participating in pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the world’s premier biomedical research hospital. The Inn reduces the burden of illness through therapeutic, educational, and recreational programming – all at no cost to the families. Since opening in 1990, more than 15,500 families from around the world, and all 50 states, have considered The Inn their home. As a partner in discovery and care with the NIH, The Inn strives for the day when no family endures the heartbreak of a seriously ill child.