The Stoltzes go to Washington

family in front of capitol hill

In late June, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota patient Katie Stoltz and her family traveled to Washington, D.C. on a mission. The Stoltzes joined with families from all across the country to take Capitol Hill by storm and talk with U.S. senators and representatives about the critical difference children’s hospitals make caring for kids with special health needs. Family Advocacy Day 2013 was a huge success, and the Stoltzes, whose daughter Katie weighed only one pound when she was born three months early, did us proud!

Here’s a photo diary of their trip:

Getting to know the Capitol!


Upon arriving in Washington, D.C., the Stoltz family made sure their trip was both fun and educational for the kids. One of the bright spots was seeing the memorials by bike. Photo courtesy of the Stoltz family.

all stars event

Before visiting with policymakers and their staff, the Stoltzes celebrated their trip by attending the Family Advocacy Day All-Stars event where they could share time with kids and families from across the country. There was live music, face-painting, a caricature artist and more!

learning about leg process

The family also learned about how the legislative process works and why programs like Medicaid are so important to children’s hospitals. Here, brothers Spencer and Ryan listen closely as our colleagues at the Children’s Hospital Association talked about how laws are made. Photo courtesy of the Stoltz family.

Capitol Hill, here were come!

whole group

Before long, the family was out the door and headed down to Capitol Hill where they were scheduled to meet with staff from the offices of many U.S. representatives and senators. Here, Anna Youngerman and Kelly Wolfe, from the Advocacy and Health Policy team, pose with the family before heading out for legislative visits. Photo courtesy of the Stoltz family.

paulsen staff

Above, the Stoltzes talk with Katie Simeon Meyer, assistant to U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen about their story and how care at Children’s made a difference for daughter Katie.

walz staff

The family also talked with legislative staff (Carina Marquez Barrientos from U.S. Rep. Tim Walz’s office, pictured here) about the importance of programs like the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Program (CHGME), which provides funding to train future pediatricians. This funding is critical in making sure that children always have access to pediatricians and pediatric specialists when seeking care.

Peterson staff

In the photo above, Robin Goracke of U.S. Rep Collin Peterson's office takes a look at one of the diapers used for premature babies in the NICU. Katie would have worn similar diapers during her stay at Children's.

Meeting Minnesota’s U.S. representatives and senators

rep paulsen

The family was able to visit with Rep. Paulsen, who represents the family’s legislative district in Washington.

kids with ellison 2

Mason, Spencer and Katie Stoltz talked technology with Rep. Keith Ellison. Photo courtesy of the Children’s Hospital Association.

katie with sen franken

Senator Al Franken was a big hit with little Katie Stoltz. Here, Katie shows Sen. Al Franken the doll’s dress she originally wore as a tiny baby at the Children’s NICU. Today, she fits into the 4T size dress that came with the doll outfit.

jon and klobuchar

Jon Stoltz talks with Sen. Amy Klobuchar about the family’s journey and how the care she received at the Children’s NICU made a difference for Katie and all of the Stoltzes.

Video wrap-up

 For a short video on what the Stoltzes enjoyed most about their time in DC, click the photo below.

Stoltzes go to Washington

The Stoltz family goes to Washington from Children's of Minnesota on Vimeo.