Kids and families don’t get to take time off from the pain, monotony and hopelessness of long-term hospitalization. So neither do we. Our job is to ensure we meet the needs of the sickest children today, tomorrow and into the future. To this end, we have assembled an engaged board, enthusiastic investors, committed hospital partners and empowered a passionate, professional child life team embedded in hospitals whose round-the-clock commitment to the children make them the real superheroes of our organization.
CEO & Founder,
Hope for Henry Foundation
For 30 years, Laurie Strongin has helped draw attention and resources to issues of emerging national significance.
She began as a PR professional at Podesta Associates and The Kamber Group, two of Washington DC’s premier public relations firms. Laurie then took her advocacy expertise to the issue of affordable housing, serving as the Deputy National Coordinator for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation’s Campaign for Home Ownership; and subsequently running Fannie Mae Foundation’s multi-million dollar portfolio to advance homeownership counseling, foreclosure prevention, and asset-building investments.
“Everything about Hope for Henry is growing. From our geographic footprint, to our staff, to the innovations we take from bench to the bedside. We are not just helping make sick kids happy, we are helping them get better faster with fewer long-term effects.”
In 1996, Laurie became drawn through personal experience into the frontlines of a breakthrough medical procedure that held the promise of saving her son, among countless other children. Turning her advocacy and media skills to that issue, Laurie participated in national medical policy panels (alongside Newt Gingrich and Dr. Bernadine Healy, among others); worked with then-House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) to urge Senate passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; secured coverage of the issue on ABC’s “Nightline” and in a Sunday New York Times magazine cover story; authored “Vetoing Henry,” a Washington Post op-ed criticizing President Bush’s 2006 veto of federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research; and advocated for parental perspectives on NBC, the CBS Early Show, and MSNBC. In 2009, when President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding for stem cell research, Laurie was one of a few dozen honored guests.
Laurie’s subsequent memoir, “Saving Henry” (Hyperion 2010), has been featured on Good Morning America, The Diane Rehm Show, The Bob Edwards Show, The Dr. Oz Show, and BBC; and featured in USA Today and The Washington Post. Since its publication, Laurie has headlined over 60 speaking engagements across the U.S.
Laurie’s leadership has been recognized by numerous institutions. She has received Children’s National’s Chairman’s Award, Georgetown Pediatrics’ Flame of Hope Award, Children’s Charities Foundation’s Star for Children Award and the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s 2016 EXCEL Award. Laurie was featured as a “Heroes Among Us” in People magazine in 2016. In addition, in 2015-2016, she served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Ethical and Social Policy Considerations of Novel Techniques for Prevention of Maternal Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA Diseases. She serves on the board of directors of the National Marrow Donor Program, and on the Association of Child Life Professional’s Advisory Council.
Kelly Beck, CCLS
Senior Manager of National Programs
Kelly Beck, CCLS, has been a part of the Hope for Henry team since 2016. Shortly after becoming a certified child life specialist in 2010, Kelly joined the child life department at Children’s National, supporting children through surgeries and critical care. There, Kelly was introduced to the Hope for Henry Foundation. In 2016, Kelly joined the Hope for Henry team as a full-time child life specialist and helped establish the Lenny “Batman” Robinson Hope for Henry program at the Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai. During the five-year period at Sinai, Kelly implemented Hope for Henry’s innovative programming while expanding psychosocial services as the manager of the Child Life & Creative Arts program. In 2022, Kelly became Hope for Henry’s Senior Program Manager.
Carolyn Schneiders Fung, CCLS
Director of National Programs
Carolyn Schneiders Fung has been a part of the Hope for Henry team since 2012. She became a Child Life Specialist in 2008 and began her career at Duke University Medical in Durham, NC. She discovered her passion for working with children and teenagers receiving solid organ transplants, and helped pilot a child life position within the adult lung transplant team. In 2012, she was hired to work at Children’s National Medical Center, becoming Hope for Henry’s first full-time, in-hospital staff member. In that role, she provided services alongside with the hospital’s top-notch child-life team, delivered Hope for Henry’s unique and exciting programming, and worked to create new programs to improve patient well-being and outcomes. Building on Hope for Henry’s special focus on play, learning, child development, and advocacy, Carolyn helped create the new patient incentives program—Hope for Henry’s Super Path to Super Duper Better. In the spring of 2016, Carolyn became the first-ever program director for Hope for Henry, and in 2018, she became the Director of National Programs.
Carolyn’s passion for the field of child life has led to becoming involved with the Association of Child Life Professionals. She was selected to be a participant in the ACLP’s first inaugural Leadership Academy, has served on the Conference Committee as an Abstract Reviewer, and currently serves on the Community Based Non-Traditional Committee.
Communications & Marketing Manager
Jack Goldberg joined the Hope for Henry staff as a Development Associate in 2021. A son to CEO Laurie and a brother to the foundation’s namesake Henry, Jack has been involved with the organization since its inception. For much of Hope for Henry’s existence he assisted the foundation’s operations as a volunteer. Since his graduation from the University of Michigan with a BA in Political Science, he has worked in non-profit development as a fundraiser and grant writer. Jack is eager to lend his professional expertise, personal experience, and passion for Hope for Henry’s mission to the continued growth and success of the organization.
Senior Director of Finance & Accounting
Maria Gortaire is the Senior Director of Finance & Accounting. Maria joined Hope for Henry in April 2019. She has a Finance degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. She oversees all aspects of the foundations’ finances, including the implementation of financial policies and accounting best practices. She is responsible for the development and management of budgets and financial reports, accounts payable and receivables, general ledger, banking, and reconciliations.