The Children's Inn At NIH CEO, Kathy Russell, Featured in People Magazine

Playground

By Tara Fowler

When Kathy Russell was a young hospital administrator, she saw something she didn't like. 

"Every day I'd come up on the elevator and I'd walk through radiology and I'd see all these kids in metal cribs with their parents lined up to go through whatever test they had in the morning," she tells PEOPLE. 

"It really dawned on me that the whole business of people queuing up to go through radiology was really kind of ridiculous." 

So Russell, with the help of a group of congressional spouses and some of her hospital colleagues, co-founded the Children's Inn, a residential facility at the National Institutes of Health for children battling life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, blood disorders and HIV infection. 

But the Children's Inn, a rustic lodge located in Bethesda, Maryland, is more than just a place to stay. With plenty of natural light from the many windows and skylights, as well as newly remodeled kitchens so families can make their children's favorite comfort foods, it's a home away from home, a place where kids can have fun and be themselves. 

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