NIH celebrated the opening of the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge on
May 26. The temporary residence for families and loved ones of adult
patients receiving care at the Clinical Center features 34 guest
rooms, a library, business and telecommuting center, fitness center,
home-style kitchen, and comfortable social and sitting areas. The
surrounding gardens include a patio, walking paths and seating areas.
Guests, who began arriving June 1, stay for free.
|Lily Safra embraces CC director Dr. John
Gallin at lodge opening.
NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni called the lodge "the physical
embodiment of the trust" that a host of philanthropists led by
the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation "has accumulated over
the years into the crown jewel that NIH is." He called the lodge "a
remarkable tribute to our patients, but also to our spirit," and
said there is nothing more touching to him than the "interaction
between doctors and scientists and patients, and the world of philanthropy."
The lodge is an emblem of what's great about our country, representing
thousands of volunteer hours, the love of others and "an ability
to think selflessly about others, about what will make a difference," he
added. "Edmond Safra embodied this philanthropic spirit.he basically
still lives through this lodge at NIH."
Lodge benefactor Lily Safra (l) and Dr. Charles Sanders, chairman
of the Foundation for NIH board of directors, listen to remarks
at the recent dedication. Said Sanders, “The more we
can spotlight such enlightened generosity, the more others
may be inspired to be involved in new programs which support
the NIH research mission — the cure of disease and
preservation of human health.”
Former Rep. Paul Rogers said “there’s something
about this particular building — it’s exciting
and touching.” He called it graceful and welcoming, and “beautiful,
comfortable and practical on the inside…It touches the
mind and heart, for we all know its purpose. It is a haven
for families visited by distress…people who have staked
their hopes on NIH research.”
|Built in the style of an English Arts and
Crafts manor, the Safra Family Lodge provides a home-like retreat
by offering space for solitude, family meetings and supportive
fellowship. It is surrounded by a lush garden (foreground).
The project, from design conception to completion, has taken
more than 6 years.
|The Claudio and Evelyne Cohen Garden includes
a fountain dedicated to the memory of Raphael Cohen, 1984-1989.
|In his remarks, Gallin pointed out that
Safra cared for her late husband as he struggled with Parkinson’s
disease. “Thank you for understanding our need, and for
making our dream of 10 years ago come true,” Gallin said. “Patients
are our partners in making the breakthroughs of tomorrow.” He
added, “The Safra Family Lodge will help keep families
together through what is often an extremely stressful time
of illness, and our patients deserve that kind of support.”
|Lodge operations manager Margo Bradford
(l) chats with Rogers during a tour of the house that followed
the formal program on May 26.
to top of page