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Press Release

The 31-year-old patient charity celebrated their milestone year with a VIP gala featuring appearances by NIH, state and corporate health leaders.

Bethesda – November 5 2015 – On a fall evening balmy enough to throw open the windows, supporters gathered to celebrate the work of Friends of Patients at the NIH (Friends@NIH), a non-profit patient charity that supports NIH research by helping families receive emotional and financial support that is critical to remain in vital clinical trials. Friends@NIH provides shelter (local housing), quality of life (family outings) and support (assistance with unanticipated financial needs) to patients who come from across the country to participate in clinical trials at NIH. This year the charity also raised funds to renovate a family waiting room adjacent to the ICU in the Clinical Center, which is the full-scale hospital at the heart of the NIH Campus.

“We were founded over 30 years ago by a group of passionate NIH employees who saw that patients and their families were struggling to be able to afford staying on or near our campus in order to continue receiving the life-saving treatments that brought them here,” said CEO Heidi Grolig. “We continue to find new and creative ways to support these patients and, by extension the mission of the NIH itself in finding groundbreaking cures, that are crucial for our communities and future generations.”

Biomedical advances are more important than ever and the patients who enroll in clinical trials are vital partners in the journey – a journey whose endpoint is to provide breakthroughs to all citizens. Experience has shown that patients sometimes have to leave their treatments prematurely because they cannot afford to stay in the protocol. Friends@NIH and our partners, such as HP Enterprise Services, Thermo Fisher Scientific, the NIH Federal Credit Union, Goldin & Stafford, Exeter, Global Prairie, Philips Healthcare, Deloitte Federal Health Sector, NETE, AAC, Suite America and Bozzuto Homes make it possible for patients, and by extension the entire country, to benefit from the progress, care and hope that are available through clinical trials at NIH.


Please see below for some select photography. For additional questions, quotes and stories from Friends@NIH patients and supporters, please contact Heidi Grolig at or 301/938-4777. You can also find more news and stories by visiting


Dr. Collins, NIH director, serenades guests.



Cristian Arias describes the help his family received from Friends of Patients at NIH.



Guests enjoying the event.


The Friends of Patients at the NIH