In September, a team of 80 Children’s National employees volunteered at a clinic for displaced Afghan children living in our region. More than 100 infants, children and young adults received physical exams, dental fluoride varnish and over 400 back-to-school immunizations in a single day.
“Families in crisis shouldn’t have to worry if their child can receive the essential medical care they need.” said Karen Smith, MD, medical director of Global Services and School Telehealth at Children’s National. “We’re proud to be here today for these families — just as Children’s National has been here for our community the past 150 years.”
Afghan refugees experienced trauma, uncertainty and stress during the evacuation from their home country. Access to essential services allows families in our community to focus on rebuilding their lives. Children need medical screens and vaccinations so they can enroll in schools to continue their education and forge new bonds with peers.
Partner organizations joined volunteer interpreters and our frontline workers to make the clinic a success:
- Lutheran Social Services – National Capital Area
- Neighborhood Health
- The Fairfax County Health Department
- HealthWorks of Northern Virginia
- United Healthcare
- Pediatric Specialists of Virginia
These partners were key in planning and running the event. They also donated backpacks, diapers, gift cards, toys and school supplies to families who came through the clinic.
Through World Central Kitchen, N&M Divine Cuisine & Events provided breakfast for workers on site, and Lebanese Taverna delivered lunch for volunteers, as well as healthy snack bags for families. Mosaic Express donated the signage displayed throughout the clinic to help welcome families.
“Today was a true community effort. We are so grateful to our amazing partners,” Dr. Smith said. “We hope that this is one small way we can welcome and support our new neighbors.”
Corporations and community organizations interested in supporting Children’s National Hospital and initiatives like this clinic may contact Tracy Jones at Tracy.Jones@childrensnational.org.