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Woodruff: ‘We can save and improve children’s lives together.’
On Wednesday night, Kennedy Krieger Institute honored veteran journalist Judy Woodruff, host of PBS NewsHour, for her longtime support for the Institute’s groundbreaking work in pediatric brain injury, research and treatment. Her personal connection to Kennedy Krieger stems from her son Jeffrey’s rehabilitation there following a brain injury.
Also at the event, Kennedy Krieger’s recently-named president and CEO, Dr. Bradley Schlaggar, outlined his innovative approach to grow the Institute’s impact and change the trajectory of children’s lives through enhanced pediatric brain research. With one in every six children in the U.S. affected by a brain disorder, disease or injury, most families are personally affected by one of these conditions, or they know someone who is.
“Kennedy Krieger Institute is filled with people who have this calling to be engaged with patients and their families for the long haul. Equally as important, however, is the dedication from our world-class research team. Kennedy Krieger’s research is changing how we treat more common conditions, like autism and ADHD; some of the most widely-discussed topics of the day, like concussions; and rarer brain conditions and injuries. And that research is truly changing lives by changing patient trajectories—which is why we are expanding our footprint and fundraising to ensure this critical research continues, and can be applied to even more patients. It’s an incredible place,” Dr. Schlaggar said.
At the event, titled “Whatever It Takes,” Woodruff’s friend and fellow veteran journalist Andrea Mitchell interviewed Woodruff on her experience at Kennedy Krieger. The conversation between Woodruff and Mitchell focused on why that experience, 20 years ago, inspired Woodruff to advocate for a future in which all children with brain disorders receive the best possible care.
Woodruff then interviewed Dr. Schlaggar for a look ahead at what the future holds for Kennedy Krieger. Dr. Schlaggar talked about how the Institute is expanding its research to transform how we understand and treat the developing brain, and how support for Kennedy Krieger’s work will broaden the Institute’s ability to positively impact more children’s lives. Dr. Schlaggar also announced that a pinwheel statue—representative of the idea that small movements can make a big difference—would be placed in the children’s garden in Jeffrey’s honor.
“Kennedy Krieger Institute made all the difference in the world for our family after our son Jeffrey experienced a life-changing brain injury,” Woodruff said. “They are the world leader in pediatric brain injury in terms of the research and the science. But it’s really the people who make Kennedy Krieger the remarkable place it is. Their amazing doctors, nurses, and physical and occupational therapists made it their mission to give Jeffrey every possible opportunity he could have.”
The event’s honorary chair was Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA. Presenting partners were Janet and Robert Sloan and Joey’s Foundation. The event, which raised funds for Kennedy Krieger and Joey’s Foundation, was the first of its kind in Washington, D.C., for the Baltimore-based Institute.
Note to media: Photo selects from the event are available here. In addition, video of 10-year-old Ellie McGinn, a Kennedy Krieger patient who takes a tailor-made “cocktail” of vitamins and antioxidants every day to treat a rare genetic brain condition, interviewing Woodruff can be found here.
Visit KennedyKrieger.org for more information about Kennedy Krieger or to donate to the Institute.
About Kennedy Krieger Institute
Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system, Kennedy Krieger Institute, with locations throughout the greater Baltimore-Washington metro area, serves 24,000 individuals a year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services, and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental issues, from mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop, while at the same time pioneering new interventions and methods of early diagnosis.
for Kennedy Krieger Institute
Melanie Fonder Kaye, 414-708-2525
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