In our monthly Corporate Partner Spotlight, we speak with corporate leaders about what inspires them to serve as advocates and ambassadors for children’s health. This month, we spoke with Brad Knox, Senior Vice President and Counsel, Aflac Federal Relations.
Brad is a member of the Corporate Advisory Council at Children’s National Hospital. He has lived in the Washington, D.C., area for 16 years. Brad’s relationship with the hospital began when one of his own children was treated at Children’s National for a back injury.
Why do you & Aflac support Children’s National Hospital?
Aflac has a commitment to the communities we serve. While that may look different in each location, it’s about giving back and bettering the places we call home. For us in the D.C. region, supporting Children’s National was a natural fit, especially with the hospital’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. For more than 25 years, Aflac has been committed to treating and researching pediatric cancer and blood disorders at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Expanding that work to support Children’s National allows us to care for even more children and families.
What lessons have you learned from your time partnering with the hospital?
I knew that Children’s National was one of the premier facilities in the country, but I didn’t initially realize just how many children it treats annually or that they have the largest single-site sickle cell program in the country.
I have also been impressed with the global impact of the sickle cell research conducted by Children’s National, especially given the diverse population of the community. It’s amazing to see the impact both globally and locally.
Aflac is a strong supporter of patients with sickle cell disease at Children’s National and elsewhere. Why is that work important to Aflac?
Aflac was founded on the principle of being there when our customers need us most. In fact, our first policy was a cancer policy, and we’ve long been committed to helping combat not only cancer, but various blood disorders, including sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell disease isn’t uncommon. It affects roughly 100,000 Americans at any time, but it doesn’t have the same visibility as other well-known diseases. Even though there are more people living with sickle cell disease in the United States than with any other genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis or hemophilia, they also have considerably less access to comprehensive, coordinated care.
This disparity is something that we are trying to shine a light on and change, whether that’s through our support of Children’s National, Aflac’s benefits or through the expansion of our award-winning My Special Aflac Duck program.
What role can business leaders play in Children’s National’s success?
The work Children’s National does to ensure that all children in the D.C. area are healthy and prospering is vital to the families and vibrance of our region. It’s easy to get involved in one of the many ways to support the hospital’s great work.
What’s the most rewarding part of working with Children’s National?
Getting the chance to speak with the patients. When you talk to a child about their life and dreams, their excitement and joy is contagious. Then you get to see how the amazing staff at Children’s National is making that future possible for them; there’s nothing else like it.