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What to expect at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City.

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news News Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:24 PM - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:24 PM

Myth buster: It’s hard to become a Shriners Hospitals for Children patient

Myth buster: It’s hard to become a Shriners Hospitals for Children patient

Since Shriners International founded Shriners Hospitals for Children in 1922, finding children who can benefit from specialized care has been a priority. At one time, it was required to be referred by a Shriner to receive care at the hospitals. While Shriners are still very involved in supporting the hospitals through volunteering, fundraising and leadership, sponsorship from a Shriner has not been a requirement for care for over 10 years. Becoming a patient is as easy as calling the hospital and meeting two criteria:

  1. Having a treatable condition.
  2. Being under the age of 18.

Aden’s story

Nicole, the mother of 10-year-old Aden, learned about Shriners Hospitals for Children from her doctor in Denver, Colorado. Born with the rare disease osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), commonly called brittle bone disease, Aden spent his early days in the neonatal intensive care unit. His doctor had not encountered many babies with OI, so she recommended Nicole take him to a Shriners Hospital. 

Nicole soon called the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital, which specializes in pediatric orthopaedics, and was able to get him right in. “It was an easy process,” said Nicole. “They started working with us right away!”

With a complex condition like OI, it is common for families like Aden’s to visit several medical facilities. Nicole found the experience at Shriners Hospitals for Children distinctly different. “The team of people at Shriners Hospital has been great,” said Nicole. “The nice thing is the staff (nurses, doctors and assistants) all know the disease so we don’t have to re-explain his situation, and they treat him just like a normal kid and make him feel comfortable when he is here.”

Penny’s experience

Ashley, mother of 7-year-old Penny, heard about Shriners Hospitals for Children from her physical therapist, who works with Utah Early Intervention. Penny, who was born with spina bifida, was also able to get right in to see an orthopaedic specialist when they called the Salt Lake City hospital directly. Ashley was delighted to learn that her daughter’s previous surgeon at Primary Children’s Hospital was also available at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City. In fact, all pediatric orthopaedic surgeons at the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital are also on staff at Primary Children’s Hospital and affiliated with the University of Utah Department of Orthopaedics.

“Once we started going to Shriners Hospital,” said Ashely, “we quickly took advantage of everything they have to offer. We love the high-quality care we get. It’s personal and amazing.” Penny has benefited from the orthotics and prosthetic lab, the wheelchair department and the  physical and occupational therapy departments. Penny has also loved taking part in the therapeutic playgroups program. “It is amazing to be a part of the Shriners [Hospitals for Children] family,” said Ashley. “This hospital has a totally different feel than others; it is a place to troubleshoot our conditions. It is a happy and fun place to be different.” 

A great place for any child with an orthopaedic issue

Both Nicole and Ashley have recommended Shriners Hospitals for Children to families they think could benefit from the hospital’s services in any way. “It’s a great place for people to bring their children with any orthopaedic issue,” said Nicole. “They also have been great working with our local primary care physician to get our son the best treatment.”  

Call 800-314-4283 or send an email to refer a patient to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City. All care and services are provided regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay.