At Shriners Hospitals for Children, the health and safety of our patients, families, volunteers and staff is our top priority. With the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we are closely monitoring updates from local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and are actively following their recommendations.

If your child has an upcoming appointment, please contact your local Shriners Hospitals for Children location.

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Patient services

Patient services

For more than 50 years, the Houston Shriners Hospital has been empowering children and young adults with orthopaedic, neuromusculoskeletal conditions, and cleft lip and palate abnormalities to unlock their potential and succeed in family, school and community life through the comprehensive services we provide.

We put our patients and their families at the center of everything we do by bringing all disciplines together – medicine, science, therapy, psychology and education – to contribute on the concerns and challenges that affect a child’s growth and development. Our interdisciplinary approach brings professionals from various fields together to create treatment plans tailored to the needs of each child.

From bedside rounds to weekly planning meetings and follow-up calls, our care team works collaboratively, professionally and passionately to care for the children entrusted to our care. Patients receive most, if not all, services at the Houston Shriners Hospital, maximizing outcomes.

Family-centered care

To ensure patients receive the best care possible, the Houston Shriners Hospital takes an interdisciplinary approach that starts with patients and their families. At the heart of patient family-centered care is the belief that health care staff and families are partners, working together to best meet the needs of the child. Excellence in health care happens when we work together and honor the expertise each of us brings to every health encounter. The collaboration and expertise of the staff enables the team to devise a treatment plan that will provide optimal healing for the patient.

Care management

The care management team consists of registered nurse care managers, social workers, resource navigators and medical translators. Their focus is primarily on population health and service. Each day, they utilize a range of interventions, including:

  • Hospital orientation
  • Assessment
  • Complex case management
  • Patient and family education
  • Group counseling
  • Coordination with medical homes
  • Obtaining necessary durable medical equipment
  • Providing referrals post-discharge
  • Sorting out immigration concerns
  • Much more!

The team collaborates with other clinical disciplines to ensure there are appropriate linkages within the community to provide care to patients and families and support for the transition back to home, school and the community. Care managers provide ongoing emotional support throughout the treatment plan and work with our families to assist in accessing resources.

Child life

The Houston Shriners Hospital child life department is staffed with certified child life specialists, a recreational therapist and a child life assistant. Experiences related to health care and hospitalization can lead to feelings of fear, confusion and loss of control and can have negative effects on a child’s physical and emotional health.

The child life department, through play, activity based interventions, self-expression, age appropriate medical preparation and education on surgery and procedures, promotes the development of coping skills for patients.

Additionally, the department helps to reduce barriers, build skills and increase confidence towards a higher level of functioning and quality of life. Other services provided by the child life department include:

  • Introduce coping techniques to help reduce anxiety
  • Provide support and distraction to aid in pain management and enhance cooperation
  • Offer opportunities for play
  • Advocate for family-centered care
  • Work collaboratively with the medical team to meet the unique needs of each child and family

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s upcoming hospital visit, please contact our child life department at 713-793-3972.


It is the mission of the nurses at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston to demonstrate excellence by applying knowledge and skills to provide compassionate care. The nursing team embraces the responsibility to preserve integrity and strives to provide a safe and respectful environment at all times while maintaining competency and promoting professional growth.

Nurses are committed to excellence in every interaction with the patient and family. When caring for patients in the inpatient, outpatient or perioperative setting – safe, compassionate family-centered care is our top priority. Low nurse-to-patient ratios allow for nursing care that meets the individualized medical and emotional needs of each patient and family.

Ongoing quality improvement initiatives and continuing education opportunities for nursing staff aim to ensure practice that is evidence-based and current. Nurses at the Houston Shriners Hospital share their knowledge by participating in research, prevention and outreach activities.

Inpatient unit

The inpatient unit is a 40-bed medical/surgical unit, which provides high-quality, comprehensive patient and family-centered nursing care for the surgical, subacute care and rehabilitative inpatient population, from infancy to 21 years of age. You can truly see where our motto of bringing Love to the rescue originated in the inpatient unit.

Outpatient care

The outpatient department has many diversified and specialty clinics in orthopaedics and cleft lip and palate. We have over 50 clinics monthly, which are staffed by both staff and volunteer physicians. A partial list of our clinics includes:

  • Neurosurgery
  • Genetics
  • Rickets
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Hand brachial plexus
  • Thoracic
  • Spina bifida

A multidisciplinary approach is used to ensure our patients receive comprehensive care. Staff from many disciplines, including surgeons, nurse practitioners; nursing, physical and occupational therapies; and care management and child life teams, work together and collaborate with our patients and families to ensure positive outcomes for our patients.

Motion analysis center

In the sophisticated motion analysis center, high-tech equipment is used to measure how a patient walks using video documentation, 3-D motion analysis and muscle-timing information. Orthopaedic surgeons compare the results with normal data to help treat patients.

Orthotics and prosthetics

Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services – Southeast LLC, at the Houston Shriners Hospital offers a full range of orthotic and prosthetic services, including upper and lower extremity prosthetic care, scoliosis bracing and a wide spectrum of pediatric orthotic services. We are truly specialists in orthotic and prosthetic care.

We specialize in helping children achieve their dreams and reach their highest potential. This may mean a prosthetic device specialized for sports such as baseball, hockey or archery, or for a musician needing to hold a violin bow or guitar pick.

Custom orthotic and prosthetic devices are fabricated using the latest technology, specifically for optimal fit and function. Our practitioners and technicians are highly skilled to work with the pediatric population. In the orthotics and prosthetics department, we utilize a team approach between the practitioners, physicians and therapy departments to provide the maximum outcomes for our patients.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is an important component of care. Physical therapy helps children improve their level of function so that they can optimize their independence. Each patient’s program is tailored to his or her individual needs and developmental abilities. Family involvement is highly encouraged and crucial. Onsite physical therapy services may include teaching safe methods of transporting/transferring patients after surgery. In addition, instruction about exercises to increase strength and mobility, which can include walking, adaptive activities and training to use an assistive device, brace or prosthesis, is provided.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps children prepare for transition away from the hospital by focusing on the improvement of daily functional skills. Occupational therapy focuses on the things one does with the hands, such as dressing, grooming, bathing and eating.

Occupational therapy (OT) focuses on helping patients who have a physical, sensory or cognitive disability, be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. Diagnoses appropriate for an OT referral include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Failure to thrive
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Orthopaedic impairments

A seating mobility specialist, working with OT services, is available to assist with wheelchair fittings and modifications. Occupational therapy practitioners address psychological, social and environmental factors that can affect functioning, in addition to dealing with someone's physical well being. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people throughout their lives to participate in the things they want and need to do – through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).

Speech therapy

Speech-language pathology services are available for evaluation and treatment of patients referred by a Shriners Hospitals for Children physician for speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders.


Psychological services are a component of the comprehensive treatment plan for both our inpatient and outpatient care. Our psychologists collaborate with the treatment team on all major decisions affecting the patient’s mental and medical health.

School services

School is an important part of all children’s lives. Being in the hospital does not mean that learning has to stop. The school services department is available to address the educational needs of the patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children. Services provided include an onsite hospital based school, tutoring program, educational assessment, summer enrichment activities, school re-entry program and accommodation/transition support. As part of the rehabilitation team, school services assess more than 300 patients annually and enroll 50-plus patients in our hospital-based school program each year. School services are available to both our inpatient and outpatient populations.

Facility dog program

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston offers patients the opportunity to work with our facility dog, Declan, provided and trained by Canine Companions for Independence. Declan received extensive training to be able to interact with patients on specific, individualized goals. As a facility dog, he is partnered with a trained facilitator and child life specialist to work in our hospital.