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Association CEO Talks to Children’s National About What Drives CU Support

The Children’s National Hospital Foundation spoke with John Bratsakis about what inspires him to serve as an advocate for children’s health. Bratsakis is president and CEO of the MD | DC Credit Union Association and chairman of Credit Union Miracle Day and Credit Union for Kids.

Children's National Hospital

The following interview was featured in the Foundation’s monthly Corporate Partner Spotlight:

Through his support, John applauds the hospital networks’ eagerness to support each other. Much like the credit union movement, he sees compassion, collaboration and cooperation give Children’s National Hospital its strength.

Why do you support Children’s National as a member of the Corporate Advisory Council?

I came to the Washington area 11 years ago and got connected to Children’s National from the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. Through the race, credit unions work together to raise money for Children’s National and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout the country. 

I have been amazed by the hospital’s commitment to change kids’ lives in a holistic way. I have heard so many stories about children not just being treated but being cared for, and that extends to family members who also need support.

A credit union colleague, whose grandchild received treatment for a heart complication at Children’s National, shared a story with me that I think demonstrates the incredible impact the hospital has on families. He was touring the hospital, and a care team member paused in the 3D printing lab to show him a 3D image of his grandchild’s heart and explain how they were going to change his life. That moment is a shining example of how Children’s National commits to caring not only for the child, but also for their family.

I have three children, and all of them needed health services at a young age. I have seen firsthand the comfort it brings to a family to know that their child is getting the best care possible, supported by state-of-the-art research, innovation, technology and a team of compassionate care providers.

Can you tell us more about local credit union support for Children’s National?

Credit unions’ longstanding support for Children’s National goes back more than 20 years. Working together with our industry partners, we have raised $10.2 million dollars for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in our region, with a large part of that going to Children’s National.

In 2019, we were thrilled to dedicate the Capital Area Credit Unions Waiting Area in the hospital’s emergency department, along with committing to a fundraising goal, which I am happy to say we are on track to meet! Credit union support is generated from high-profile events like the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run and charity golf tournaments, and from smaller scale events like dinners and raffles. 

As credit unions, we are known for our collaborative spirit and commitment to the financial well-being of our communities. Ensuring that children and families have the emotional and financial support they need, along with access to the best medical care when they need it most, is just part of the credit union DNA. We want families to be able to focus on their child’s treatment and recovery, not stress about medical bills. Providing that peace of mind is what credit unions are all about.

By supporting Children’s National, we sustain our goal of improving the financial well-being of the community.

What’s the biggest lesson have you learned from your time partnering with the hospital? 

 One of the key lessons I have learned is that you are not alone. Many of us involved in the Advisory Council have experienced the exceptional care provided by Children’s National. If you haven’t, knowing such an incredible facility and team exists in the community to serve our friends and family provides a great deal of hope.

To learn more about Childrens National Hospital Foundation or to donate visit here.

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