membership in the Shriners fraternity grew in the early 1900s, so
did the call for establishing an official charity. In 1919, the
Imperial Potentate-elect pitched the idea of establishing a hospital
to provide free care for children with orthopaedic problems. The
idea was mulled over and, in 1920, a committee was established to
explore the idea.
This committee concluded that there shouldn’t just be one hospital;
there should be a network of hospitals throughout North America that
provide medical care at no charge. It was an idea that appealed to
Shriners, who, as we know, like to do things in a big way. The first
hospital opened in Shreveport, La., in 1922.
Orthopaedic, Burn, Spinal Cord Injury, and Cleft Lip and
Today, there are 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children, 18 of which
specialize in orthopaedic care, treating injuries and problems of
the bones, joints and muscles, as well as complicated conditions,
such as brittle bone disease, spina bifida and cerebral palsy.
Additionally, four hospitals specialize in providing medical care to
kids with burn injuries. Shriners entered the field of burn care in
the 1960s after recognizing a lack of medical expertise in the
field. Shriners Hospitals treats children with acute, fresh burns;
conducts reconstructive and restorative surgeries on kids with
healed burns; treats children with severe scarring that limits
mobility; and also helps kids with scarring or facial deformities
caused by burns.
Spinal cord rehabilitation units are located within three Shriners
Hospitals. These units provide long-term rehabilitation and
intensive physical, occupational and recreational therapies for
children with spinal cord injuries. One of the hospitals, located in
Sacramento, Calif., provides care for children with orthopaedic
conditions, burns and spinal cord injuries.
Moreover, Shriners Hospitals for Children established a cleft lip
and palate program in 2005. This program provides lip and palate
repair, nasal reconstruction, facial work and dental procedures, as
well as audiological, speech and psychological services.
“Today’s research is tomorrow’s patient care” is a well-known saying
at Shriners Hospitals. In 2007, $37 million was budgeted for
research projects. Since Shriners Hospitals began a formal research
program more than 40 years ago, more than $515 million has been
research projects. While eight Shriners Hospitals are specifically
designated as research centers of excellence, all 22 Shriners
for Children are involved in some form of research. Shriners
Hospitals have research affiliations with major universities.
Generally, these investigations focus on improving and expanding
treatments for severe burns, understanding complex musculoskeletal
disorders, and improving techniques used to treat both mobility
problems and spinal cord injuries.
Shriners Hospitals take an active role in medical education. Over
the past 20 years, more than 8,000 physicians have received
residency education or postgraduate fellowship education at Shriners
Hospitals. Most of our hospitals have residency or teaching
affiliations with other hospitals or universities. Shriners
Hospitals also provide training in other medical areas, including
nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and orthotics and
prosthetics. While there are many elements to Shriners Hospitals for
Children, there is only one purpose: to improve the lives of
No Barriers to Care
The total budget for the 22 Shriners Hospitals is $721 million in
2007, but that money doesn’t come from the pockets of patients or
their families. Thanks to the generosity of the Shriners and the
general public, ability to pay or insurance coverage is never an
issue. All care at Shriners Hospitals is provided at absolutely no
charge to the patient, family or legal guardian. The hospitals are
substantially funded through the Shriners Hospitals for Children
endowment fund, maintained through gifts, bequests and
contributions. Additional income is provided by an annual hospital
assessment paid by every Shriner, as well as fundraising events.
Admission to a Shriners Hospital is based on medical need. All
children, up to the age of 18, are eligible for admission if they
can benefit from the specialized services available at Shriners
Hospitals. Application forms are available from your local Shriners,
Shriners Hospitals for Children or by calling toll-free (800) 237-5055
in the U.S. or (800) 361-7256 in Canada.
How You Can Help
Shriners Hospitals for Children needs your help! Learn more about
making a one-time gift, recurring gift, or a planned gift by
http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org or by calling us at (800) 241-GIFT.
Hospitals for Children Locations
51 Blossom St.
Boston, MA 02114
3160 Geneva St.
Los Angeles, CA 90020
1529 Cedar Ave.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1A6
Av. del Imán No. 257
Col. Pedregal de Santa Ursula
Mexico D.F., 04600, Mexico
2211 N. Oak Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60707
2425 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817
3229 Burnet Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45229
3551 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19140
1645 W. 8th St.
Erie, PA 16505
3101 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Rd.
Portland, OR 97201
815 Market St.
Galveston, TX 77550
2001 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63131
950 West Faris Rd.
Greenville, SC 29605
3100 Samford Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71103
1310 Punahou St.
Honolulu, HI 96826
911 W. Fifth Ave.
Spokane, WA 99204
6977 Main St.
Houston, TX 77030
516 Carew St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Fairfax Rd. at Virginia St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
12502 Pine Dr.
Tampa, FL 33612
1900 Richmond Rd.
Lexington, KY 40502
2025 E. River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Center
† Burn care
‡ Orthopaedic, burn and spinal cord injury care