Community Conversations

Community Conversations Fall 2020

Dear Readers,Mel Bower

As our team works through the summer to prepare this fall edition of Leaders in Care for you, we are acutely aware that much of the world – and certainly the U.S. – remains under the threat of the COVID-19 pan­demic. At the same time, across the globe, we see countless people continuing their lives and work as best they can, which is nothing short of inspiring and impressive.

For the people of Shriners Hospitals for Children, more than anything else, that means remaining focused on our mission of improving lives by providing excellent care, conducting innovative research and offering educational opportunities for medical pro­fessionals. It also means that our patients and families are, and will always be, our first priority.

What does being patient-focused mean? For us, it means taking the time to listen to the patients and their families and including their hopes and goals in care plans. It is also the reason for our signature wrap-around care – care that emphasizes the overall well-being of each patient, offering programs and oppor­tunities that strengthen confidence and self-esteem, encourage positive outlooks and introduce a world of possibilities.

Being patient-focused also means seeking answers through research – answers that will one day add to the world’s collective medical knowledge, as well as offer new treatment options.

We offer the stories of our amazing patients, dedicated and talented medical and clinical staff, and some of our current research efforts on the following pages in a spirit of hope and confidence – in both today and the future.

Mel Bower
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Shriners Hospitals for Children

Patient Perspectives

Retired Sergeant First Class Peggy had a successful Army career after being treated for cerebral palsy as a child.

Shriners Hospitals for Children – Chicago received this via Facebook Messenger: “I want to thank Shriners Hospitals and Dr. Peter Smith for all he has done for me. On 31 August, I retired as a Sergeant First Class from the Army after 20 years, 1 month, and 16 days. I no longer have his email, but I would like to share a picture of me at my retirement ceremony receiving an Infantry Medal for supporting the infantry throughout my 20 years in the Army.” We congratulate Retired Sergeant First Class Peggy on her 20-year Army career. She credits the care at our Chicago hospital with allowing her to live a healthy, full life as a mother and soldier. As a very young child, doctors in her area diagnosed Peggy with spastic diplegia, a type of cerebral palsy. “My mother and grandparents were told I would never walk or talk. I proved those doctors wrong when I finally started walking and talking toward 3 years of age,” she said. Eventually, her family came to the Chicago Shriners Hospital. Peggy’s legs were turned, so she walked with her feet turned in. Peter Smith, M.D., a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, performed a surgical procedure to turn her femurs out and correct the issue.