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Inside the NICHD with Dr. Valerie Maholmes

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Dr. Maholmes oversees the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch (PTCIB). In this Inside the NICHD feature, she speaks about her work. Hear Dr. Maholmes describe the NICHD letter-writing campaign to military families.


Audio recording (MP3 – 1 MB)


Dr. Maholmes: For the NICHD 50th anniversary, we wanted to do service projects, which I thought was just a wonderful idea for the Institute. And so, I connected with the Blue Star Families, which was a part of the Joining Forces Initiative that I think the Obama Administration started, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden. I believe that’s how it got started. But we wrote letters, they were asking people to write letters to the children and to the families, and certainly to the Wounded Warriors.

So I organized a letter-writing session here. And we wrote letters to those children and families, and it was wonderful, the response that we got from everybody around the Institute. And then, we also organized a food and item drive for the Fisher House, which provides services to the Wounded Warriors, and we provided a number of items that they needed and those were delivered to the Fisher House. And I think we’ll probably continue to do that.

That was just a wonderful experience to know that you’re sharing words with a child who is concerned about their, the well-being and safety of a parent who might be deployed, or to a mother or a father who’s worried about the well-being of a spouse who was deployed and is on the front lines of combat. It’s just a wonderful experience to be able to do that and to make that contribution.


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