Community Conversations

Community Conversations Summer 2023


Dear Readers,

Summer is here, and schoolchildren everywhere are joyful with the prospect of a break. It’s a season for spending time with friends, relaxing and playing.

As the largest pediatric orthopedic group in the world, the Shriners Children’s healthcare system has an incredible amount of experience and expertise in caring for children with sports and play-related injuries, as well as patients who have complex or rare conditions. We’re committed to finding innovative, thoughtful ways to help kids participate in their favorite activities.

In this issue of Leaders in Care, we’re proud to tell you the stories of how Shriners Children’s helps children enjoy playtime.

You’ll meet amazing kids like Michael, who is back to playing trumpet in the marching band after seriously injuring his knee in rehearsal, and Daniel, who with the help of a high-tech anti-gravity treadmill is back to high school athletics after sustaining a wrestling injury. Then there’s Maisy, who was born without fingers on her right hand. She didn’t use a prosthetic until her desire to improve her tennis game led her to investigate the options – and her care team to find the perfect fit for her.

The dedication that kids have in pursuit of fun always inspires me, and I hope you’ll come away from this issue of our magazine inspired, too. I wish you all a very happy – and safe! – summer.

Mel Bower
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Shriners Children’s



Norah’s letter

In this letter, Norah, 15, a patient of Shriners Children’s St. Louis, expresses her gratitude for her care team. She writes:

I aspire to be as gracious and compassionate as I grow into my adulthood as the staff at Shriners Children’s Hospital was towards me. In June 2022, Dr. Kelly performed a life-changing spinal fusion. When my daily life resumed a couple of weeks later, I left confused because the back pain that plagued each small activity in my life was suddenly gone.

It feels as if I was granted a second chance at teenhood. Because of my incredibly positive treatment and care I have received at Shriners, I’ve started a chapter of an all-female scoliosis support group called Curvy Girls for the Central Illinois and St. Louis area. A tiny way to pass on the wisdom and benignity you all have inspired me to not only keep, but ignite.