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news News Monday, February 3, 2020 Monday, February 3, 2020 1:29 PM - Monday, February 3, 2020 1:29 PM

Spokane Shriners Hospital celebrates 20 years of Nogales patient outreach

Spokane Shriners Hospital celebrates 20 years of Nogales patient outreach

For nearly 20 years, staff members from Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane have traveled to the St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic in Nogales, Arizona’s largest border community with Mexico. The clinic, which has been in operation for nearly 50 years, is held on the first Thursday of every month and provides care to Mexican children who can neither afford nor access the care they need.

Glen Baird, M.D., chief of staff; Jennifer Randall, RN; Rebekah Aldrich, RN; and Francisco Oquendo, LPN, travel to Nogales about six times a year to bring orthopaedic specialty care to the kids at the St. Andrew’s Clinic.

“Their dedication to our mission is remarkable and we at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane are so proud to have such an amazing team,” said Spokane Shriners Hospital Administrator Peter Brewer.

This outreach effort is conducted in similar fashion to the Spokane Shriners Hospital outreach clinics in Kalispell, Montana; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Richland, Washington. The goal? To reach more kids in more places, regardless of families’ ability to pay.

“For 20 years, we have been caring for kids at the St. Andrew’s Clinic. That means we have visited the Nogales clinic 124 times,” said Dr. Baird. “This outreach effort has changed the lives of children who otherwise may have never received the orthopaedic care needed to live a healthy life.”

Depending on what a child’s needs are, they may see more than one health care practitioner in a day at the St. Andrew’s clinic. When possible, all pediatric orthopaedic needs are treated on-site. However, when treatment requires surgery and further care, travel to the Spokane Shriners Hospital is coordinated by hospital and St. Andrew’s care management teams.

Patients receiving long term care at the Spokane Shriners Hospital are able to stay in the Family Center, which is located behind the hospital. The Family Center is a six-room apartment complex that provides a comfortable homelike atmosphere for families during their stay. For extended stays, some families may travel back home and return to Spokane for continued care.

“It is a remarkable feeling to watch these patients grow over the years,” said Dr. Baird. “We have been fortunate enough to revisit the same patients in Nogales and see a transformation in their lives. We are looking forward to the next 20 years of providing outreach care in Nogales.”

For more information about the Spokane Shriners Hospital's outreach efforts, please visit the patient services webpage or call 888-895-5951.

Pictured: (left to right) Francisco Oquendo, LPN; Rebekah Aldrich, RN; Glen Baird, M.D., chief of staff; and Jennifer Randall, RN, display achievement award for 20 years of outreach success.