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News Friday, April 14, 2017

Northern California Shriners Hospital celebrates its 20th anniversary

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

On April 14, 1997, the hospital officially opened in Sacramento as it accepted its first patients for care. The community welcomed the new Shriners Hospital with open arms. News reports described the hospital in glowing terms. “A new era in treatment for children,” “a gift to behold,” and “impossible dream comes true” were among the phrases used to describe Sacramento’s only stand-alone children’s hospital.

In an article that appeared in Comstock’s magazine, hospital administrator and CEO Margaret Bryan said, “We spend a lot of time thinking about ways in which we can be more helpful to the children in this community.” Those words are still true today.

“Over the past two decades, our hospital has grown tremendously. We have added new clinical programs, expanded our research initiatives and embraced innovative new technologies,” said Bryan. “Every decision has been motivated by our unswerving commitment to children.”

More than 70,000 children have been accepted for care since Shriners Hospital opened its doors in Sacramento in 1997. The number of patients served continues to accelerate and referrals are at an all-time high. More than 500 new patients are referred to the hospital for care each month. In 1997, the Northern California Shriners Hospital was heralded as a place where children with orthopaedic conditions, burns and spinal cord injuries could benefit from the gift of expert pediatric care.

Since then, the hospital has become the busiest pediatric burn center in Northern California and ranks with UC Davis Children's Hospital as one of the "Best Children's Hospitals" for pediatric orthopedics by U.S. News and World Report. Clinical programs have expanded to include plastic, cleft lip surgery and pediatric surgery. The hospital partnered with the University of California Davis School of Medicine to establish the Institute of Pediatric Regenerative Medicine (IPRM), where doctors and scientists work collaboratively to find new ways to heal children with complex medical needs.

“Clearly, we are proud of our progress,” said Bryan. “It is made possible by an incredibly talented and devoted professional team and a kind and generous community that supports our hospital in its mission to make a positive difference in the lives of children.”