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Family Lodge

Architectural rendering of The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at NIH

The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at NIH will open in early 2005.

What it is

The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at NIH was designed as a home-like facility for families while their loved ones receive care at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The Lodge will provide a retreat and sanctuary for families and caretakers of NIH Clinical Center adult patients participating in investigational and clinical trials designed to further knowledge of new treatments for disease. The Safra Family Lodge will be a home away from home; a comfortable environment intended to alleviate the stress and anxiety that inevitably accompany the serious illness of a loved one.

"Having a chronic illness places an incredible burden on the family as a whole--on marriages, as well as on healthy children of an ill parent," explained Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center, the clinical research hospital of NIH. The Lodge will provide housing for the families and loved ones of adult patients.

Construction Photos
April 27, 2004 East Side Facing Clinical Center
April 27, 2004 Northwest side of the Lodge
April 27, 2004 Inside the Lodge
December 1, 2003 Views from the Lodge’s second-floor guest rooms
December 1, 2003 View of the Lodge from Center Drive & Old Georgetown Road
December 1, 2003 View of the Lodge from Center Drive
December 1, 2003 View of Clinical Center complex “across the street” from the Lodge
October 21, 2003 Second-floor walls going up
October 7, 2003 First-floor walls going up
July 15, 2003 Interior basement walls in place
June 17, 2003 Basement walls going up
June 6, 2003 Beginning of foundation


Construction for The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at NIH began in the spring of 2003 and is targeted for completion in late 2004, around the same time as the opening of the new Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, a state-of-the-art clinical research facility that will be in full operation in December 2004 and a short distance from the Lodge.

The Family Lodge will include

  • Thirty four guest rooms
  • Family gathering areas including living, dining, kitchen, family playroom, library, exercise room, patio, and garden
  • Telecommuting facilities so that families can manage their lives while they are at NIH

The Clinical Center initiated the pilot NIH Guest House, which opened in 1996 in the old Apartment House (Building 20). With the demolition in 1998 of Building 20 to make way for the new Clinical Research Center, the 6-unit Guest House moved to a nearby apartment building on Battery Lane in Bethesda and continues today in a combination of local hotel rooms and two apartments.

Lodge dedicated to Edmond J. Safra

A $3 million donation to NIH from The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation has helped fund the Family Lodge. Other generous contributors also include the Merck Company Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, and many more corporations, foundations and individuals. The Foundation for NIH hosted a ceremony marking the naming of the facility on April 17, 2002 at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Edmond J. Safra
Edmond J. Safra

Considered by many to have been the twentieth century’s greatest private banker, Safra quietly carried out many philanthropic activities. Rarely taking personal credit, he supported thousands of students, underwrote medical research, built and restored schools and synagogues as well as churches and mosques, endowed professorships and contributed to countless humanitarian, religious, educational and cultural causes.

After Safra’s tragic death, the Foundation and his wife Lily, who is a founding member of the Foundation and serves on its Council, supported many projects consistent with his vision. With the dedication of the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at NIH, The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation carries forth Safra’s lifetime commitment to medical research and humanitarian causes.

For more information on The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge

Contact Jan Weymouth, Executive Director

Continuing funding for the Lodge is sought through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

In the news

Clinical Center News
"Plans move ahead for Family Lodge" (April 2000)

NIH Record
"NIH Family Lodge to be Built Near Lasker Center on Campus" (March 2000)


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