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Our History

Inside Shriners Hospitals for Children, patients and families say thank you to the Shriners International fraternity – the men in the red fezzes. Our model for care was imagined by the Shriners, the fraternal organization that established the hospital system.


The Shriners opened their first hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1922. Polio was reaching epidemic proportions and Shriners Hospitals for Children opened as a place where children suffering from the crippling effects of polio received life-changing medical care. Clubfoot and other orthopaedic conditions were also widespread and children could receive state-of-the-art treatment.

Recognized as one of the world’s greatest philanthropies, Shriners Hospitals for Children has evolved into an international hospital system recognized for its devotion to transforming the lives of children through expert care and research. Shriners Hospitals for Children is a destination of choice for parents whose children have orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip or palate, or other complex surgical needs. All children receive care regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

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