DHHS, NIH News  
NIH Office of the Director (OD)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

OD Office of Communications and
Public Liaison (OCPL)

NIH Opens Safra Family Lodge
New facility creates home away from home for patient families

Bethesda, Maryland — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) celebrates the opening of the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge on Thursday, May 26, at 2 p.m. This new addition offers a temporary residence for families and loved ones of adult patients who are receiving care at the NIH Clinical Center, the nation’s premier hospital for conducting clinical research — research involving patients. The Lodge opens its doors to guests on Wednesday, June 1.

“We recognize that patients and their families go the extra mile to participate in research studies. The Safra Family Lodge goes a long way to make their stay here feel more like home,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. “We hope that this place of kindness will do for adults and their families what the Children's Inn has done for our pediatric population.”

Patients from every state in the U.S. and from around the world visit NIH to participate as partners in medical discovery. In the more than 50 years since the Clinical Center’s opening in 1953, NIH has worked with more than 350,000 participants in clinical studies, designed to further knowledge of new treatments for disease. Together, scientists, clinicians, and patients have discovered major advances at the Clinical Center, including the first cure of a solid tumor with chemotherapy; first chemotherapy treatment for childhood leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease; first use of nitroglycerin for acute myocardial infarction; first successful replacement of a mitral valve; and the first use of AZT to treat AIDS, among many others.

“Patients volunteer as partners in research here at the NIH Clinical Center because they recognize how important their participation is to better treatments and therapies for the future," said NIH Clinical Center Director John I. Gallin, M.D. “The Safra Family Lodge will help keep families together through what is often an extremely stressful time of illness, and our patients deserve that kind of support.”

Built in the style of an English Arts and Crafts manor, the Safra Family Lodge provides a home-like retreat by offering space for solitude, family meetings, and supportive fellowship. Located steps away from the NIH Clinical Center, the Lodge features 34 guest rooms, a library, business and telecommuting center, fitness center, home-style kitchen, and comfortable social and sitting areas. The surrounding gardens include a patio, walking paths, and seating areas. There will be no charge for patient families to stay at the Safra Lodge.

The project, from design conception to completion, has taken more than six years. Construction of the Safra Lodge was made possible through a public-private partnership. The Foundation for NIH, a private non-profit organization, received contributions to fund most of the facility’s construction. The foundation received nearly $5 million from Mrs. Lily Safra and The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation, as well as significant contributions from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Merck Company Foundation, and GlaxoSmithKline. Many other generous individuals, corporations, and foundations also helped make the Safra Family Lodge a reality.

“These benefactors are leaders and examples to us all,” said Charles A. Sanders, M.D., chairman of the Foundation for NIH. “The more we can spotlight such enlightened generosity, the more others may be inspired to be involved in new programs which support the NIH research mission — the cure of disease and preservation of human health.”

The Safra Lodge was designed by Amy Weinstein, FAIA, Weinstein Associates Architects. Madison Cox, Madison Cox Design Incorporated, created the Claudio and Evelyne Cohen Garden, while Inez Austin, Design Innerphase, designed the interior.

Senior officials and special guests will attend the opening event, including the Honorable Paul Rogers, who served in Congress for 24 years, and Mrs. Lily Safra, chairman of The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation. Barbara Harrison, of WRC-NBC4, will serve as the master of ceremonies.

High-resolution photos of the Safra Lodge are available at: http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov/familylodge/.

The Office of the Director (OD) is the central office of the NIH and is responsible for setting NIH policy and for planning, managing and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components including 27 Institutes and Centers. NIH, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information, visit www.nih.gov.

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health was established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the National Institutes of Health. The foundation identifies and develops opportunities for innovative public-private partnerships involving industry, academia, and the philanthropic community. A non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, the Foundation raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities. For more information, visit www.fnih.org.

NIH logo   Home > News & Events
Subscribe to receive future NIH news releases.