Shriners Hospitals for Children

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Shriners Children's
TypeNonprofit organization
IndustryPediatric hospitals
Revenue838,298,361 United States dollar (2017) Edit this on Wikidata
OwnerShriners International Edit this at Wikidata

Shriners Children's is a network of non-profit medical facilities across North America. Children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay. Care for children is usually provided until age 18, although in some cases, it may be extended to age 21.

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, the hospitals are owned and operated by Shriners International, formerly known as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a Freemasonry-related organization whose members are known as Shriners. Patients are not required to have any familial affiliation with the Shriners order nor Freemasonry. The current[when?] advertising campaign for the healthcare system features the tagline, "Love to the Rescue."


Historical marker noting location of first Shriners Hospital (1922) off King's Highway in Shreveport, Louisiana

In 1920, the Imperial Session of the Shriners was held in Portland, Oregon. During that session the membership unanimously passed a resolution put forward by W. Freeland Kendrick who (while serving as Imperial Potentate) put forth the resolution that created the Shriners Hospitals for Children.[1][2] The first hospital in the system opened in 1922 in Shreveport, Louisiana. It provided pediatric orthopaedic care.

Shriners Hospitals for Children worked closely with the United States Southern Command and other military commands, including the Army and Air Force, the Guatemalan combined military force and via the U.S. embassy, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the U.S. State Department to arrange medical visas and transportation to the United States, "with a global commitment to children around the world".[3]

In 1962, the Shriners of North America allocated $10 million to establish three hospitals that specialized in the treatment and rehabilitation of burned children. After visiting 21 university-based medical institutions, the decision was made to build their first pediatric burn hospital on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.[4]

In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility. The study showed that the Shriners Hospitals were ranked as the 9th "most popular charity/non-profit in America" of over 100 charities researched with 40% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing "Love" and "Like A Lot" for the Shriners Hospitals.[5]

In September 2008, the Shriner's Hospital in Galveston sustained significant damage from Hurricane Ike. The hospital was closed for renovation at that time, and care for children with acute burns was provided at other Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Shriners had considered closing facilities in Shreveport, Louisiana; Greenville, South Carolina; Erie, Pennsylvania; Spokane, Washington; Springfield, Massachusetts and Galveston, Texas, eliminating a total of 225 beds. However, in July 2009, the Shriners National Convention voted overwhelming against closing any hospitals and to repair and reopen the Galveston facility.[6]

In 2009, despite an endowment that declined from $8 billion to $5 billion in less than a year because of the poor economy, Douglas Maxwell, the hospitals' CEO said he and other Shriners are confident the hospital system will be able to remain solvent in the long term.[7] Maxwell stated in July 2009 that some of the facilities may become outpatient surgical centers, and will begin accepting insurance payments (for most care) for the first time in the hospitals' 87-year history. Maxwell said children with burns, orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries and cleft palates will continue to be treated without charge to their families.[8]

In May 2015, Shriners Hospitals for Children became a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a national network of organizations committed to better serving patients and their families through physician collaboration.[9]

In the 2020s, Shriners Hospitals for Children rebranded as Shriners Children's, adapting to current nationwide trends in health care, especially the emphasis on outpatient care, and some locations becoming clinics or outpatient centers.[10]


Shriners Children's Texas burn center on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas

Treatment areas cover a wide range of pediatric orthopaedics, including scoliosis, limb discrepancies, clubfoot, hip dysplasia, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, as well as cerebral palsy, spina bifida (myelomeningocele), and other neurological conditions that affect ambulation and movement. Three of the hospitals provide spinal cord injury rehabilitation that is developmentally appropriate for children and adolescents, with adventure and adapted sports programs, activity-based rehabilitation, aquatherapy, animal-assisted therapy, and other programs. Four of the hospitals (Boston, Galveston, Cincinnati, and Sacramento) provide care for children with burns, as well as treating a variety of skin conditions such as epidermolysis bullosa and toxic epidermal necrolysis. The Boston, Chicago, Shreveport, and Portland hospitals also provide treatment for children with craniofacial conditions, especially facial clefts.[citation needed]

The hospital in Sacramento is the only hospital in the Shriners' system that focuses on all three areas of treatment (burns, orthopaedics, and spinal cord injuries), as well as research. The Sacramento hospital also houses its own orthotics and prosthetics lab and development facilities. Transportation to the hospitals is often provided free of charge for patients and their family by Shriner-drivers (also known as Hospital Tripsters) across the country, by van or by airplane.[citation needed] Children accepted for treatment become part of the Shriners Hospital system until their 18th or, sometimes, their 21st, birthday, eligible for both inpatient and outpatient treatment for all facets of their disability.

While the main emphasis of the hospitals is to provide medical care to children regardless of the family's ability to pay, the mission of the hospitals also includes research on the conditions treated and the education of medical professionals, including medical residents and fellows, nurses, physical, recreation, and occupational therapists, speech and language pathology, psychologists, social workers, and child life specialists.


As of 2012, the Shriners Hospitals' Form 990, show an endowment of $8.2 billion, which is up significantly since April 2009, when the endowment dropped to approximately $5 billion due to the recession.[11]


United States[edit]

Shriners Hospitals: Locations by Specialty:[12]

Satellite Clinics:

  • Shriners Children's Bismarck Satellite Clinic – Bismarck, North Dakota – (orthopaedics, club foot, sports medicine, cerebral palsy)
  • Shriners Children's Boys Town Satellite Clinic – Boys Town, Nebraska – (orthopaedics, club foot, sports medicine, cerebral palsy)
  • Shriners Children's Downtown Los Angeles Satellite Clinic – Los Angeles, California
  • Shriners Children's Doylestown Satellite Clinic – Doylestown, Pennsylvania
  • Shriners Children's Rapid City Satellite Clinic – Rapid City, South Dakota – (orthopaedics, club foot, sports medicine, cerebral palsy)



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Potts, Florence J. "The Shriners' Hospitals: A General Outline of the History of the Founding of the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children." The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 26, No. 10 (Oct., 1926), pp. 745-46.
  2. ^ "Arch of Welcome, 1920". Sunday Oregonian (June 20, 1920). Portland, Oregon: Vintage Portland @ WordPress. September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-05. At that event, members unanimously passed a resolution to establish the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children system.
  3. ^ "What we're up to". June 7, 2018. Archived from the original on August 25, 2018. Retrieved Aug 25, 2018. Within 24 hours of the volcano eruption, Shriners Hospitals for Children sent an emergency medical "go team" of pediatric burn physicians and nurses [...]. This is an effort that has been deployed previously for other natural disasters.
  4. ^ Seaholm, Megan (2010-06-15). "Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children, Galveston Burns Institute". Handbook of Texas. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  5. ^ The Charities Americans Like Most And Least, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, December 13, 1996 And USA Today, December 20, 1994, "Charity begins with health", FINAL 01D
  6. ^ "Galveston Daily News: Shriners vote to keep Isle burns hospital open". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  7. ^ Roberts, M. (2009). The Gaea Times :Shriners to keep serving 22 cities, but may downgrade some hospitals; will accept insurance Accessed 11 Jan, 2014
  8. ^ Roberts, M. (2009). Accessed 1-11-2014
  9. ^ Brown, Jo-Lynn. "Shriners Hospital joins Mayo Clinic network". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Tampa, Florida.
  10. ^ {{URL||optional display text}}
  11. ^ "MSN - Outlook, Office, Skype, Bing, Breaking News, and Latest Videos". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Shriners - Welcome". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati announces potential move to Dayton Children's". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Shriners Hospital for Children in Texas Medical Center is closing and parents are shocked". KHOU. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 2020-01-09.

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