President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden brighten spirits at Children’s National Hospital


WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden spread holiday cheer to patients, families and staff at Children’s National Hospital. The First Lady visits are an annual hospital tradition that dates back more than 75 years to Bess Truman, who stopped by to see families who couldn’t spend their holidays at home. This is the third time President Biden joined the First Lady for the visit. 

“It truly warmed my heart to see just how meaningful this visit is for our patients and their families during the holidays,” said Michelle Riley-Brown, MHA, FACHE, president and CEO of Children’s National. “We’re grateful to the President and First Lady for continuing this longstanding holiday tradition.”  

The President and First Lady were escorted by 10-year-old Samukh Arunkumar. Lovingly known around the hospital as the “Mayor of 4 East,” Samukh loves Mario Kart and his nurses and doctors who take care of his acute myeloid leukemia.


The First Lady read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clark Moore, as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication. Portions of this year’s White House holiday décor included nods to the poem and book, such as the 2023 Gingerbread White House and a visual recreation of the story in the Grand Foyer. This was the First Lady’s way of bringing a bit of the White House holiday celebration to kids in the hospital, as a group of patients and families gathered in front of the Christmas tree to hear the timeless tale. The entire visit was also streamed by Seacrest Studios to every inpatient room.  

Media contact: Public Relations team | [email protected]| 301-244-6760


About Children’s National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington, D.C., was established in 1870 to help every child grow up stronger. Today, it is the No. 5 children’s hospital in the nation and ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s National is transforming pediatric medicine for all children. The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus opened in 2021, a first-of-its-kind pediatric hub dedicated to developing new and better ways to care for kids. Children’s National has been designated three times in a row as a Magnet® hospital, demonstrating the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty care locations in the D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Virginia. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. It is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. As a non-profit, Children’s National relies on generous donors to help ensure that every child receives the care they need.

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CONTACT: Diana Troese Children's National Hospital 2024764500 [email protected] 

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