Every child dreams of being in the driver’s seat. But not all children travel the same road. For children faced with physical challenges, fulfilling the promise of a brighter tomorrow can be a long and bumpy ride. The specialists at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities are determined to put children in the driver’s seat and set them on the road to independence.
Since 1923, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities’ board-certified surgeons and staff have been providing high-quality medical care to all children, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Our hospital and clinic specialize in treating children with orthopaedic conditions in an environment designed to put children at ease. Every member of our team, from surgeons and therapists to nurses and prosthetists, work together to ensure the best course of treatment for each patient.
The staff at the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital proudly serve children in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Wisconsin and into the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
Inside Shriners Hospitals for Children each day, patients and families say thank you to Shriners International fraternity – those men in the red fezzes. Our model for care was imagined and established by Shriners International, the fraternal organization for which the hospital is named. Determined to give all children access to specialized pediatric care, Shriners International opened their first hospital in Shreveport, La., in 1922. Polio was reaching epidemic proportions and only families of means had ready access to doctors, leaving thousands of children at risk without health care. Shriners Hospitals for Children opened as a place where children suffering from the crippling effects of polio, clubfoot and other orthopaedic conditions could receive life-changing medical care.
Recognized as one of the world’s greatest philanthropies, Shriners Hospitals for Children has evolved into an international hospital system recognized for its devotion to transforming the lives of children through expert care and research. It is a destination of choice for parents whose children have orthopaedic problems, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip and other complex surgical needs. All children receive care regardless of the families’ ability to pay.
After an extensive search of both the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, an eleven-acre, wooded lot on the east bank of the Mississippi River (site of the current hospital) was selected for the construction of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. Mr. Charles Gold, the treasurer of Northwestern Knitting Company sold the property to the Shrine organization for $20,000 (one-half the market value). The money for the property’s purchase was cooperatively donated by the Osman and Zuhrah Shrine Centers.
In November of 1921, the groundbreaking ceremony took place for Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. The initial cost of construction was $250,000. Of the now 22-hospital system, the Twin Cities facility was the third site developed.
On Monday, September 25, 1922 the Minnesota Grand Lodge laid the hospital cornerstone. A time capsule contained in the cornerstone included copies of Masonic publications, a button from the lapel of the Imperial Potentate and lapel buttons from both Osman and Zuhrah Shrine Centers. The official hospital dedication and opening day was March 12, 1923.
In 1923 the average patient stay was 1–2 years, in the 1970s it was 65 days, 1990s it was 9 days and today it is 2.5 days. Many early patients were treated for polio, a disease which was virtually eliminated in the late 1950s after a vaccine was developed. With the introduction of the polio vaccine, the hospital began to turn its primary focus to orthopaedic care including, congenital defects, trauma related injuries and cerebral palsy.
In 1955, the hospital added an outpatient department.
As medical technology changed, so did the focus of health care. Until 1970, the hours for visiting patients were from 2 to 4 p.m. each Sunday. Today families are allowed and encouraged to stay with their children as much as possible. The entire hospital focuses on family – from admission through discharge.
In addition to the high-quality medical care, patients and families benefit from the efforts of other groups who support the hospital. Shriners International, Womens General Auxiliary, Daughters of the Nile and many others have committed themselves to meeting the needs of those served. These special groups of supporters provide volunteers, funding, special need items and an added level of attention than extends well beyond the traditional hospital.
On April 17, 1990, the current hospital was opened to patients and families. The $24 million building project provided the current hospital building with more space that included a parent accommodation center (PAC). The PAC allows families to stay together on campus while their child is being treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. The Womens General Auxiliary dedicated one million dollars towards the construction of the PAC.
State-of-the-art surgical suites and new departments were added to the new building in order to provide better care. An in-house orthotics and prosthetics lab was added to make orthotics (braces) and prosthesis' (artificial limbs). An occupational therapy department and therapeutic pool were added to complement the physical therapy department, providing comprehensive rehabilitation services.
If you’re seeking a well-established children’s hospital that specializes in orthopaedic care, look no further than Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. We deliver the highest quality care to children with orthopaedic conditions. From foot, ankle and hand disorders to rheumatology and specialized plastic surgery, we are proud to be the premier kids’ hospital that parents trust to treat a diverse array of orthopaedic issues.
Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities, like the other U.S. based hospitals in the Shriners Hospitals for Children health care system, reaffirms its commitment to excellence of care through the development of its Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The CHNA is a requirement for tax-exempt hospitals to engage their servicing community every three years and assess their health needs. Based on the findings, we have developed an action plan to work alongside community stakeholders to address the health needs of the community.