Shriners Hos­pi­tals for Chil­dren:

Bring­ing Love to the Res­cue Since 1922

Wellness Update - - Front Page -

AHealth Care Sys­tem Built on Com­pas­sion and Com­mit­ment In the early 1920s, a po­lio epi­demic was sweep­ing across the coun­try, caus­ing count­less chil­dren to suf­fer, and their fam­i­lies to be sud­denly faced with find­ing long-term med­i­cal care. At the same time, a fra­ter­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion, Shriners of North Amer­ica (now known as Shriners In­ter­na­tional) was search­ing for a phil­an­thropic ef­fort to call its own. Th­ese two events led to the es­tab­lish­ment of the first Shriners Hos­pi­tal in 1922 in Shreve­port, La. The hos­pi­tal’s mis­sion was to pro­vide med­i­cal care for chil­dren with or­thopaedic con­di­tions, such as po­lio, re­gard­less of the fam­i­lies’ abil­ity to pay for th­ese ser­vices. From the be­gin­ning, the Shriners re­al­ized the need was greater than one fa­cil­ity could meet. In 1923, hos­pi­tals were es­tab­lished in Honolulu, Min­neapo­lis and San Fran­cisco (re­lo­cated to Sacra­mento, Calif., in 1997). The fol­low­ing year the de­vel­op­ing health care sys­tem ex­panded to Port­land, Ore., St. Louis, and Spokane, Wash. By the end of the decade, there

® were 14 Shriners Hos­pi­tals for Chil­dren . What be­gan as a sin­gle hos­pi­tal built in

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