Members of the fraternity, Shrine of North America, founded the philanthropy known as Shiners Hospitals for Children. The hospitals provide pediatric care to children under the age of 18 completely free of charge. The Shiners Hospitals are the only free children's hospitals in the enitre country (as pointed out by etouffee). Every child who has reasonable possibility of being helped is admitted into the hospital. There are a total of 20 Shriners Hospitals in the United States of America. Of the 20 hospitals 18 are orthopedic Shriners Hospitals, three Shriners Hospitals are dedicated to treating children with severe burns, and one Shriners Hospital provides orthopedic, burn and spinal cord injury care. There is also one hospital located in Canada and one in Mexico. To date over 675,000 children have been helped by the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
“It Is the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children to:
Provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and certain other special health care needs within a compassionate, family centered and collaborative care environment.
Provide for the education of physicians and other health care professionals.
Conduct research to discover new knowledge that improves the quality of care and quality of life of children and families
This mission is carried out without cost to the patient or family, and without regard to race, color, creed, sex or sect.”
In 1919 at the Imperial Council Session the Shriners decided they wanted to establish a hospital to treat children without any costs to the family or a third party. The hospital would be paid for by a $2 contribution from each member of the fraternity. In 1921 it was decided that a number of hospitals throughout North America that would be linked and provide the same free of cost, quality treatment was necessary. The hospital was originally named “Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children.”
In 1922 the first Shriners hospital opened. It was located in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1985, the 19th hospital was opened in Tampa, Florida.
In 1996 the organization decided to change the name of the medical centers to Shriners Hospitals for Children. The name change was necessary because the scope of treatment at the hospitals was broadening.
Since the 1960’s the Shriners have become a major influence in the medical research field. When they first become involved in research projects the budget they had to work with was $12,000 now the budget has grown to over $22 million. The majority of the contributions have been made in the orthopedic and burn fields.
Some of the orthopedic conditions treated at the hospitals are: Osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease); muscular dystrophy; legg-perthes disease; and upper and lower extremity prosthesis.
Some of the burn conditions treated at the hospitals are: plastic reconstructive or restorative surgery as a result of "healed" burns; severe scarring, resulting in interference with mobility of the limbs; and scarring and deformity of the face.
United States of America:
Los Angeles, California
Salt Lake City, Utah
St. Louis, Missouri
Greenville, South Carolina
I was a patient at the Shriners Hospital for Children located in Tampa, Florida from the age of 18 months to 8 years. I was unable to walk due to my hips being turned inward. Eventually the problem was completed corrected. Some day I will repay the Shriners for their generosity.