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History of Shriners Children's Lexington

Established: November 1, 1926

The first Shriners Hospitals for Children in Lexington opened on November 1, 1926 as a 20-bed wing connected to the children’s ward of Good Samaritan Hospital. The $90,000 construction cost was funded by Oleika Shriners. Shortly after the hospital opened, it became evident that the 20-bed wing was not large enough to treat the number of children with orthopedic conditions seeking care. A new freestanding hospital with 50 beds opened in 1955.

As the outpatient and surgical caseload increased in the 1980s, it became clear that more space was needed. In 1988, a new hospital was constructed in front of the 1955 building, which was then razed. Designed to accommodate up to 50 inpatients, the new facility included two operating suites, ancillary and support services, and individual patient exam rooms for physician office visits.

Between 1988 and 2017, the number of families from Kentucky and the surrounding states seeking specialized pediatric orthopedic care increased steadily.

From Hospital to Outpatient Clinic

In 2017, the facility was relocated to 110 Conn Terrace, on the University of Kentucky HealthCare campus and transitioned to Shriners Children's Lexington, an ambulatory care facility that included three licensed entities.

Inpatient care is provided at Kentucky Children’s Hospital by the core staff of Shriners Children's physicians who hold dual privileges at both locations. The medical center (110,000 square feet) includes modern upgrades to all clinical departments (including Kentucky’s first EOS medical imaging system), more exam rooms in the specialty care clinic, and two state-of-the-art surgical suites with modern light-filled pre- and post-surgery rooms on the ground floor for convenient access by families. Within three years the number of active patients increased from 11,464 to 16,172.

Location Highlights

  • November 1, 1926: Opened on the Good Samaritan Hospital Campus.
  • 1955: A new freestanding hospital with 50 beds opened.
  • 1988: A new hospital constructed in front of the 1955 building, which was razed following the move. The new facility (180,000 total square feet) was designed to accommodate up to 50 inpatients.
  • 2011: Leaders at the Lexington facility began to strengthen the existing affiliation with the University of Kentucky (UK), with the ultimate goal to construct a modern outpatient facility (to include ambulatory surgery services) in close proximity to the UK Medical Center and Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
  • 2017: Relocation to 110 Conn Terrace on the UK HealthCare Campus and transition to an ambulatory care facility that included three licensed entities: the SHCMC Specialty Care Clinic, SHCMC Rehabilitation Center, and SHCMC Ambulatory Surgery Center.
  • 2020-2024: For four consecutive years, in association with Kentucky Children’s Hospital, the medical center was ranked among the top 50 in the country for pediatric orthopedic care by U.S. News and World Report. While they are separate entities, they work closely together to provide seamless care. The rankings are the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals.

specialty pediatric care at shriners children's lexington

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We Understand the Unique Medical Needs of Children

We provide vital, pioneering treatment from birth to age 18. Here, children have the opportunity to be evaluated and treated by doctors recognized as the best by their peers.