Our Community

Community Conversations Summer 2024

Dear Readers,

Conjure up memories of childhood, and images of building a fort with your best friend or swinging higher and higher on the backyard swing are sure to flood your mind. Tossing a ball, playing checkers, hopping on a bike. Carefree, joyful, fun. Play is synonymous with childhood.

And we get that.

As a healthcare system devoted entirely to helping children, we know the important role therapeutic play has in healing. In this issue, you’ll read about unique spaces throughout our system that foster recovery through play. In Boston, patients count the steps with rehab therapists as they climb a vibrant staircase mural that travels from the ocean floor up to the mountain tops. And at Shriners Children’s Lexington, an ADA-accessible playground features slides, stairs, balance beams, ramps and climbing walls that make it a fun part of the care plan. From gardens to playrooms and even swimming pools, these are among the special places that promote well-being and healing – a reflection of our innovative wrap-around care.

These healing spaces aren’t the only ways Shriners Children’s focuses on innovation. I’m confident you will enjoy learning about groundbreaking research conducted by our physician-scientists that’s drawing parents and children to our doors. You’ll also read how our teams are embracing artificial intelligence technologies that enhance the delivery of patient care.

I hope you’ll come away from this issue of our magazine energized by the innovative care we provide. I wish you and your families a safe and happy summer!


Mel Bower

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Shriners Children’s

Patient Perspectives

Helen, mother of a patient at Shriners Children’s Hawai‘i, shared a positive experience with Helena Pontillas, MSW, LSW, CCM, a care management social worker. Here’s what she had to say:

Dear Helena,

Thank you for being our guardian angel/advocate/friend for the last three-plus months. You made our stay so much easier. Every time we needed you – pop! There you were! Before we came, I was telling friends in Guam how efficient you were. “You know she’s good, she’s a Helen,” I said.

So, to my new friend “Helen with an ‘a,’” I say: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Hope to see you again. God bless,