Every Step Is A Victory

By Miki Morris
Wednesday - June 20, 2007
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On April 18, Shriners Hospitals for Children kicked off its first-ever capital campaign, “Every Step is a Victory,” to upgrade its current Punahou Street building. Oswald Stender (left) and Allan Dowsett (right) display a likeness of the renovated hospital building

On April 18, Shriners Hospitals for Children kicked off its
first-ever capital campaign, “Every Step is a Victory,” to
upgrade its current Punahou Street building. Oswald
Stender (left) and Allan Dowsett (right) display a
likeness of the renovated hospital building

Mention the word “Shriners” to most people, and they immediately think of those fun-loving men in the red fezzes. Before I joined Shriners Hospitals for Children nearly 18 years ago, that was the extent of my knowledge of the Shriners, as well. Now I know much more about the Shriners, namely, their genuine love and commitment to providing care to children with specialized medical conditions - all at no charge.

Deciding where to take your child for medical care is one of the most important choices parents may face. You want the best - the most respected pediatric specialists and the highest quality of care, provided in a family-centered environment - to ensure positive outcomes for your child. Shriners Hospitals offer all of this and more, and patients and families are never charged for any services provided.

Every day, I have the privilege of being a part of a team of health care professionals who put children first. At Shriners Hospitals for Children-Honolulu, our mission is to make sure children receive the orthopedic care they need. At a time when the costs of health care continue to rise, the Honolulu Shriners Hospital has been a beacon of hope for children and their families. The moment you step into Shriners Hospital, you’ll sense that this is an empowering place, where every step a child takes is literally a major victory. There are few jobs that offer the deep satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped make a difference in a child’s life, and it inspires the Shriners, the hospital staff and volunteers to keep on doing what we enjoy.

Since the hospital opened nearly 84 years ago, more than 25,000 kamali’i (children) from Hawaii and throughout the Pacific Rim have received world-class care, and approximately 80 percent of the children we care for are Hawaii residents.

Eligibility for care at Shriners Hospitals is not dependent on financial need or relationship to a Shriner. To be eligible for admission, a child must be under the age of 18 and have a condition treatable by Shriners Hospitals. We accept patients who have a variety of orthopedic conditions, including clubfoot, scoliosis, limb-length discrepancies, rickets, and hip, hand and back problems. We also provide specialized burn rehabilitative care, and treatment for orthopedic problems associated with spinal bifida, polio, cerebral palsy and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Truly life-changing work happens in our hospitals every day. Our Honolulu hospital offers inpatient and outpatient surgical and rehabilitative services - including physical and occupational therapy, and orthotics and prosthetics. Since our patients stay an average of 11 days in the hospital, we also provide recreation therapy and have an on-site school that operates under the state Department of Education, so patients don’t fall behind in their studies. Social workers provide services to assist patients’ families, who can stay at the hospital to be near their child.

We’re always looking for more patients to serve throughout Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. We conduct outreach clinics in rural Oahu, on the Neighbor Islands, and in faraway locales, such as Guam, Fiji, Saipan and Western and American Samoa. During these trips, our medical staff evaluates kamali’i for possible admission to the hospital and provides follow-up services to current patients. More than 1,000 kamali’i are screened at outreach clinics every year.

Due to our growing patient population and their needs, changing technology and methods of health care delivery, and improved safety and health standards, we are in the process of building a new Shriners Hospitals for Children-Honolulu.

When completed in 2010, the $73-million, two-story medical complex, with a separate family housing building for the patients and parents, and a separate administration building including a conference center, will provide the latest in pediatric orthopedic care to better serve the needs of our community.

You can be a part of perpetuating the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children. With your support, we can continue to serve thousands of kamali’i from Hawaii and the Pacific Rim for generations to come. For more information, please contact Iwalani Dayton, director of development, at 951-3609.

Hele mai - take the first step with us!

Next Week: Dana Hauanio, director of Honolulu Minority Business Enterprise Center

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