Established: June 26, 1927
"Sunshine Valley Camp" is where the Shriners Children's Erie story begins. In the summer of 1924, a cottage was built along Lake Erie to treat 12 children to a summer of sunshine, good food and physical therapy. The evolution from a summer cottage for 12 to a state-of-the-art pediatric orthopedic healthcare facility spanned a period of 95 years. Those years of birth, growth and change began with a suggestion from a young Erie woman, Elizabeth Milne, which was acted on by local Shriners in the same spirit that prevails among them today.
The success of that first summer greatly enthused the Nobility of the Zem Zem Temple. At a Ceremonial held on October 30, 1924, Noble Isador Sobel introduced a resolution to "build and maintain a convalescent home for crippled children." Zem Zem unanimously adopted the resolution and construction began in October 1925, under Potentate Emil E. Knoblach. A completed Zem Zem Hospital for Crippled Children was dedicated on June 26, 1927, caring for children with polio, tuberculosis and hip dislocation. As the incidence of polio and tuburculosis decreased, the focus of the hospital's treatment program broadened to meet the needs of other children in the area. In 1967 the hospital joined the national network of Shriners Hospitals for Children.
- 1924: Summer – Sunshine Valley Camp, October 30 – Zem Zem Resolution
- 1925: October – Construction begins
- 1927: June 26 – Zem Zem Hospital dedicated
- 1957: December – First rheumatic fever patient
- 1967: Joined Shriners Hospitals for Children system
- 1971: Major expansion included physical therapy department, two operating rooms, recovery room, outpatient waiting room, administration offices
- 1976: Added scoliosis screening
- 1984: Major expansion – outpatient clinics, medical records, brace shop, parent housing, new children's wards, child life department
- 1994: October 9 – $2 million expansion
- 2012: April 24 – Transition to ambulatory model
- 2020: Transitioned all surgeries to affiliate locations
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