Where Did It Begin?
The first Shriners Hospital opened in Shreveport, La., in 1922, and by the end of that decade, 13 more hospitals were in operation. The number of orthopaedic hospitals eventually reached 19. Today, the orthopaedic Shriners Hospitals serve as major referral centers for complex and highly specialized orthopaedic treatments for children.
During the 1950s, Shriners found themselves able to provide additional services, and Shrine leaders, looking for other ways they could help children of North America, became aware of the lack of medical expertise in burn care. Each year, thousands of children are disfigured or killed by severe burns.
In the mid-1960s, 40 years after opening its first orthopaedic Shriners Hospital, the Shrine opened three hospitals specializing in burn care. Each of these specialized hospitals has a three-fold mission of helping children, conducting burn research and training medical personnel in the treatment of burns.
The Shriners Burns Hospitals are pioneers in burn treatment. They are actively involved in the development of innovative techniques that will continue to revolutionize the treatment of severely burned children.
Why Are They So Special?
iners Hospitals have been actively engaged in clinical research from the beginning, but in the early 1960s, the Shriners began earmarking funds for basic and clinical research. Since that time, Shriners Hospitals have been at the vanguard of orthopaedic and burn research.
In the early 1980s, the Shriners discovered yet another way it could help children: by opening the nation’s first spinal cord injury center expressly for children. At three spinal cord injury units in the Philadelphia, Chicago and Sacramento hospitals, young people with spinal cord injuries can find not only the specialized medical care needed for rehabilitation,but also hope, inspiration and strength.
In 1996, Shriners representatives voted to change the name of their philanthropy to “Shriners Hospitals for Children,” to reflect the expanded range of services provided.
The rules for all Shriners Hospitals are simple: Any child can be admitted to a Shriners Hospital if, in the opinion of surgeons, the child can be helped and if the child is under the age of 18. Shriners Hospitals are open to all children without regard to finacial ability or relationship to a Shriner.
Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a network of 22 pediatric hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that provide specialized care for orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate. All services are provided at no charge.
Eligibility for care is not based on financial need or relationship to a Shriner.
If you know of a child Shriners Hospitals might be able to help, please call our toll-free patient referral line: