Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Family Foundation Gives $1 Million To Heart Institute At Children’s National Medical Center

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Gift Will Support Earlier Detection of Congenital Heart Defects

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The support of the Dekelboum Family Foundation is a major step forward in our goal to transform cardiac care for children in our region, across the country, and around the world

The Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Family Foundation has announced a gift of $1 million to Children’s National Medical Center. The gift will allow the Children’s National Heart Institute to launch a Congenital Heart Defect Screening Study. Children’s National will name a three-bed bay in the new Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in honor of the Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Family Foundation.

“The support of the Dekelboum Family Foundation is a major step forward in our goal to transform cardiac care for children in our region, across the country, and around the world,” said Edwin K. Zechman, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Children’s National. “The gift, with its focus on the identifying heart defects and preventing congenital heart disease, will generate major dividends for our nation’s children and will improve the lives of children for generations to come.”

The heart defect screening study will focus on the effectiveness of an inexpensive device called a pulse oxymeter that could help identify more than 80 percent of life-threatening congenital heart defects. If initial findings are validated, the Dekelboum gift will enable Children’s National to promote its use in hospitals across the country and around the world – improving early detection and health outcomes for children everywhere. The study will be led by Dr. Gerard Martin, the C. Richard Beyda Professor of Cardiology and co-director of the Children’s National Heart Institute.

“While great advances have been made in treating cardiac anomalies, significant numbers of children are missed by prenatal testing and by physical examination in the newborn period,” Dr. Martin said. “These misses are in part due to the lack of symptoms and physical findings in newborns whose circulation is transitioning from fetal life. Pulse oxymetry testing can identify these newborns before the infant becomes critically ill avoiding potential brain damage, irreversible heart damage, or even death. The support of the Dekelboum Family Foundation will build on our existing knowledge and impact not just the children we treat, but children around the world.”

Children's National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, is a proven leader in the development of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children’s has been serving the nation's children for more than 135 years. Children’s National is ranked among the best pediatric hospitals in America by US News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit http://www.childrensnational.org .

Contact:
Mark Miller
301-565-8500

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