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In Memory of Dr. Melanie Sanborn

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane lost a member of its hospital family, Melanie Sanborn, M.D., in a tragic accident earlier this year.

“We mourn this loss of our dear friend and our colleague Melanie,” said Chief of Staff Glen Baird, M.D. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her sister (who is one of our nurses), her husband and daughter, and her extended family during this terribly sad time.”

Dr. Sanborn began her medical career in 2006 after graduating from Creighton University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville and joined the Spokane Shriners Hospital medical staff in 2015 as a pediatrician and hospitalist.

Dr. Sanborn was a tireless advocate for kids and beloved by her patients. She provided care for the hospital’s children who undergo surgery and managed the Spokane Shriners Hospital specialty clinics for kids living with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and muscular dystrophy. A mom of one of her patients with OI said the care Dr. Sanborn provided was one in a million. “There is not one appointment that we ever had with her where she didn’t make us feel special, educated and confident. My son loved her,” she said.

Being a part of the Spokane Shriners Hospital was so important to Dr. Sanborn that she recruited several family members to join her Shriners Hospital family, including her sister, mom and father-in-law. She lived her life from the spirit of fun, evident not only in her patient care, but also in her participation in hospital competitions. She would never pass up a door-decorating contest, corn-hole tournament or dress-up day.

Dr. Sanborn mentored and supported her co-workers, freely sharing her knowledge. “She was not just my co-worker, she was my friend,” recalled Deborah Reich, manager, respiratory care services. “She was an awesome hospitalist. She led with a team approach and valued each member of the team with the care of our patients. She will be forever in our hearts, and we miss her daily.”

As the hospital staff continue to process the loss, they are hoping to honor Dr. Sanborn in a memorial garden on the hospital’s campus. “Our Shriners Hospital family is a small and close one,” Dr. Baird said. “Her loss will be felt for some time to come.”