1925 marked the establishment of what would become a symbol of hope for thousands of children and their families who were touched by polio.¬† The Shrine Fraternity had a vision to reach out and help and help they did.¬† It is worth noting that at this time in the 1920′s there was very little health care available and even less available to those who did not have money.¬† The other fact to consider is that polio was a dreaded disease and that it was life threatening and/or life altering to many many people (for an informative story on polio visit the PBS story http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/polio/).¬† We lose appreciation for the needs and status of the health care system of that era.
Jump to 2010 and an advanced complex health care system yet one in which Shriners Hospital for Children continues to care for kids with orthopedic issues just as has been done for the past 85 years.¬† Although the building has changed,¬† the treatment as changed and the faces of the many healthcare professionals has changed the care continues and kids lives are touched in a positive and lasting way.
Shriners is proud of the tradition and legacy of caring for kids but it is most proud of the individual lives that have been improved, enabling these children to participate and contribute in their community.
What is equally remarkable is that up until this time, for the full 85 years, the care has been provided at no cost to the patient or family.¬† This will change in 2011 as the cost of providing this care has exceed the capacity of Shrine system.¬† This will not change the commitment of the Shriners and The Shriners Hospital for Children to reach out and care for kids in a way that we would want our own children cared for.
So here we are 85 years down a remarkable path.¬† Please join me in this celebration¬† and share your story or thoughts on how Shriners has touched you or someone you love.¬† In this way we can celebrate the many years of service and at the same time reach out to those in need at this time.