As Shriners Hospitals for Children® sprang up across North America, the mission behind this unique organization also grew. The Shriners quickly learned that there were two additional needs in supporting their mission to care for children. The first was research to help develop better medical treatments. The second was to educate medical professionals. The result is a three-pronged mission that has impacted medical care not just for children, but for people of all ages all over the world.
Shriners Hospitals for Children conduct clinical research in every area of care, including orthopaedic disorders, burns, spinal cord injury treatment, and cleft lip and palate. These ongoing clinical studies are possible in large part because these hospitals are among the only facilities of their kind with a large population of children who have a variety of conditions. In many cases, what is learned in these research studies is able to be applied and shared right away so that care is constantly improving.
So-called “bench” research is also a hallmark of the organization. This laboratory-based research has led to major discoveries in genetics, nutrition, metabolic function, wound healing and much more.
However, Shriners Hospitals for Children may be best known for its work in burn research. In fact, many of the treatments used as standard practice in burn centers across the country today originated within Shriners Hospitals for Children.
When it comes to pediatric orthopaedic care, Shriners Hospitals for Children are the experts, bar none. Virtually every pediatric orthopaedic specialist in the United States has done a rotation during their education at a Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Each of our hospitals holds a close relationship with a major university medical center or hospital, and many of our surgeons and physicians are also professors. Shriners Hospitals for Children are also a training ground for other medical professionals like nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and others. This focus on education helps keep Shriners Hospitals for Children on the front lines of medicine, while helping disseminate the wealth of information learned here over the years.