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NIH Launches CFC Season, Aims to Raise $1.1 Million

By Jan Ehrman

On the Front Page...

You've seen the pamphlets. You're familiar with a few of the organizations. Maybe you've even contributed to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) in years past. But you're still wondering. What could CFC possibly do for me?


Attendees at the CFC kickoff held Oct. 16 in front of Bldg. 1 heard a dramatic, first-hand account of what one such agency did for a colleague. John Fahner-Vihtelic of NIH's Office of Technology Transfer told how a CFC-affiliated organization helped put his life back in order after he suffered a near-fatal automobile accident. He's living proof that, when all is said and done, "It all comes back to you" -- the theme for this year's campaign.

CC director Dr. John Gallin addresses the kickoff crowd.

Held under blue skies and fall-like temperatures, the kickoff included remarks from NIH deputy director Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, Clinical Center director Dr. John Gallin (the CC is this year's campaign sponsor), and CFC Director Norman Taylor.

Representatives from a number of agencies were also on hand to distribute literature and explain organizational goals. Meanwhile, NIH'ers heard music from the Federal Focus Jazz Band and enjoyed chili prepared by Hard Times Cafe. Dr. Bear, the mascot from Children's Hospital, made rounds, giving on-the-spot "physicals" to willing participants.

Emphasizing the role of employees in furthering the CFC, Kirschstein noted, "It really does all come back to us, but first we must do all that we can do to help." She said, ultimately, NIH's goal is to achieve better health for all, and that's why everyone's participation is needed.

This year, employees can contribute to any of more than 2,500 international, national and local agencies, including the Clinical Center and Children's Inn. Said Gallin, "Mother Teresa understood that our true progress depends on our common welfare. As federal employees, we continue that spirit of giving" that she exemplified. He asked employees to give generously this year.

CFC Director Norman Taylor explains that eventually almost everyone will benefit, either directly or indirectly, from a CFC-sponsored agency.

Through its agencies, CFC provides assistance in numerous ways to hundreds of thousands of needy individuals. If you don't directly need this help today, you or a family member may need it eventually, according to CFC director Taylor. One need look no further than Fahner-Vihtelic for affirmation.

He owes, if not his life, then certainly his vitality to an affiliated agency. He told the kickoff crowd of a bone-chilling incident that changed his life forever. A number of years back, he survived an automobile accident. In its wake, "I went from an active lifestyle to being a couch potato," Fahner-Vihtelic recalled (see related stories in the Feb. 25 and Mar. 11, 1997 NIH Records). However, thanks to Disabled Sports USA, a CFC-sponsored agency, he literally walked away from the problem and became part of the solution. With the organization's support, he completed rehabilitation, eventually competing on the U.S. Ski Team's cross-country team for disabled skiers and in the Paralympics. He also maintains an active lifestyle that includes triathlons, biathlons and marathons. "When you support CFC," Fahner-Vihtelic said, "it all comes back to you. All of society benefits."

Three attendees were immediate beneficiaries -- they won door prizes. Debbie Whittington of NIDDK took first prize -- two tickets to see the St. Louis Rams play the Washington Redskins. Andrea Rander of the CC won second prize, dinner for two at the Capitol City Brewing Co. Stephanie Miller, also of the CC, claimed third prize -- two movie tickets.

In the upcoming days, your keyworker will be handing out the CFC Catalog of Caring, along with a pledge card. Meanwhile, you can catch up on the latest CFC news online by visiting Remember, no donated amount is too little.

Last year, NIH raised $1 million; the agency's goal for this year is $1.1 million. Overall, $37.2 million was donated last year. This year's goal for all agencies is $38 million.

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