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Vol. LVII, No. 13
July 1, 2005

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Safra Family Lodge Dedicated

Lily Safra embraces CC director Dr. John Gallin at lodge opening.  
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.

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.

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