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. See how the specialists at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis are determined to put children in the driver’s seat and set them on the road to independence.
Since 1924, Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis’s board-certified surgeons and staff have been providing high-quality pediatric orthopaedic care to children, regardless of the families' 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 St. Louis Shriners Hospital proudly serves children from all over the U.S. and the world, but our primary catchment area is the nine states of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa.
Inside Shriners Hospitals for Children each day, patients and families say thank you to the Shriners International fraternity – those men in the red fezzes. Our model for care was imagined and established by the Shriners, the fraternal organization for which the hospital is named. Determined to give all children access to specialized pediatric care, the Shriners 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, burns, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip and palate, and other complex surgical needs. All children receive care regardless of the families’ ability to pay.
Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis opened its doors in 1924, the sixth facility in the network. The original facility, which still stands, was built on the campus of Washington University School of Medicine on Kings Highway. The 120-bed hospital was built at a cost of $395,000.
In 1963, the St. Louis unit moved from its original location – at the corner of Clayton and Euclid in the Central West End – to 2001 S. Lindbergh Blvd. in the west St. Louis suburb of Frontenac. The hospital was renovated extensively in 1991, part of an ongoing effort to update all 22 facilities throughout the Shriners hospital system.
In 1983, the hospital added The Center for Metabolic Bone Disease and Molecular Research to investigate, diagnose and treat more than 100 rare genetic bone diseases in children. Led by medical/scientific director Michael P. Whyte, the center, its scientists and staff are sought throughout the world by those seeking answers about why their children’s bones are too soft or too brittle, and as a result draws patients nation- and world-wide.
The medical staff is drawn from the faculty physicians of Washington University School and Medicine and as a result, the hospital has enjoyed a close relationship with the university and St. Louis Children’s Hospital during the last nine decades. Additionally, the hospital is consistently included in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital's listing in US News and World Report as one of the top pediatric orthopaedic hospitals in the nation.
The medical staff depends heavily on a team of professionals representing more than a dozen patient care departments. The team effort begins the moment a child enters the St. Louis Shriners Hospital and continues as our orthopaedists, pediatric specialists and patient care staff members work together with the patient’s family on a specific plan of treatment for each child.
Of course, the role of 22 Shrine temples (chapters) serving the St. Louis Shriners Hospital is vital to our success. That role includes providing leadership and financial support, volunteer work, and recruitment and transportation of patients.
Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis, 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.