I was recently at a meeting at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Florida, an organization that is now a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. I remember though that when the hospital joined us in 2011, some people had questions about the union.

Why Florida, for example, when our flagship hospital and others are all in the Mid-Atlantic? Why a pediatric institution when Johns Hopkins already has a world-renowned children’s center?

Though there are, of course, strategic benefits for the hospitals to combine efforts, the most resonant reasons lie in the fact that we can never do enough to help ensure kids’ healthy lives and to provide opportunities for their future—whether in Baltimore, Florida or anywhere else in the world. Our mission to improve health through education, research and patient care is not geographically limited, after all.

And though we do carry out our work for the benefit of all humanity, children must hold a particularly special place. Consider that today—just in the U.S.—more than 20 million kids “lack access to care that meets modern pediatric standards,” according to a new Children’s Health Fund analysis.  That’s simply not acceptable, and we all have to do everything we can to change it. The future depends on it.

With these things in mind, after every inspiring visit to Johns Hopkins All Children’s, I am reminded of how far we have come in curing and helping children and their families, and also how we must continue to make strides in this area. I consistently leave with renewed awe, purpose and hope, and for that, I am so grateful.

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