Preparing for Our Next 100 Years

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing to meet the needs and expectations of today and tomorrow

We live in an ever-changing, fast-paced, technology-driven world. Just look at the phone in your back pocket. It’s not just a phone anymore – it’s a camera, a computer and your own personal entertainment center. The health care industry is also undergoing rapid, radical changes. One big change is the shift to an emphasis on outpatient care.

A history of compassion and healing

The members of the Shriners fraternity established Shriners Hospitals for Children because they wanted to make a difference in the world – they wanted to establish a philanthropy that would help those in need and make the world a better place. At the time, a polio epidemic was sweeping across the country, and it was apparent that many children were without appropriate care. Consequently, these compassionate visionaries chose to establish a children’s hospital to meet this need, and to provide all care and services regardless of the families’ ability to pay. The first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922 in Shreveport, Louisiana. What began as one hospital has become a world-renowned health care system with locations in three countries.

Over time, Shriners Hospitals for Children has continued to make a difference by addressing additional medical needs of children, including burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Driven by compassion and concern, Shriners Hospitals for Children has been committed to changing the lives of children for nearly 100 years, and has provided hope and healing to more than 1.4 million children.

Transforming our delivery of care

Shriners Hospitals for Children has historically provided the majority of its excellent care on an inpatient basis. However, today, approximately 85% of pediatric medical procedures in the U.S. are performed in an outpatient setting, and this trend is expected to continue. We are evaluating our care delivery model at each of our locations and making the necessary adaptations and changes to ensure we are meeting the needs of both the patients and communities we serve.

A local perspective

Using a variety of approaches that fit the various situations and communities, plans include partnering with other community health care providers, sharing space and focusing on specific outreach efforts. Our patients will continue to be served and to receive our trademark compassionate, wrap-around care. We will continue to try to reach more patients in these areas who could benefit from the services and expertise Shriners Hospitals for Children has to offer.

Our locations in Erie, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; Pasadena, California; Tampa, Florida; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, are already completely focused on outpatient care and/or one-day surgeries, with necessary inpatient services coordinated with a community partner. We anticipate that our Cincinnati, Ohio, hospital will relocate within Dayton Children’s Hospital and that our Houston, Texas, facility will be consolidated with our Galveston, Texas, location in 2021.

These changes and evaluations are part of a much larger plan that will create a select number of Centers of Excellence, with more than 200 access points for patients and families (affiliations, partnerships, telehealth sites, outreach clinics, etc.), allowing us to serve more children, wherever they live. As Shriners Hospitals for Children plans for the future, we will continue to put the needs of our patients first, just as we have since 1922.