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Planting For The Future of Shriners Children's Chicago

Shriners Children’s Chicago and The Chicago Region Trees partnered up to provide hope and healing to children's lives for the next 100 years.

Shriners Children’s Chicago just celebrated a very special anniversary, 100 years of improving care for children everywhere. The first Shriners Children’s location opened in September 1922. Shriners Children’s Chicago opened its doors in the late spring of 1926. At the time, the hospitals were built alongside railroad tracks so families could easily visit their children who were receiving treatment for polio and orthopedic conditions. On October 4, staff members, patients and over two dozen volunteers from several Chicago area companies came together to plant 15 new trees in one morning. While today’s patients will never miss an opportunity to watch the trains and Metra go by, new trees planted near the railroad tracks were selected to mitigate sound and pollution from the busy railway line. All seven species of trees chosen are drought-resistant, and will thrive in this region, ensuring that Shriners Children's Chicago remains a place of hope, healing and rehabilitation for families for the next 100 years.

Planting For The Future Shriners Children's Chicago

Shriners Children's and The Chicago Region Tree Initiative are planting for the future. 15 new trees will help ensure the children's hospital on the outskirts of Chicago is a place of hope and healing for children for the next 100 years.
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Speaker 1:

A hundred years ago a group of Shriners decided to add philanthropy to their meeting structure and their activities that they were doing.

Speaker 2:

I think everything they do is for the kids and I love to be part of it, so I look forward to coming to work every day.

Speaker 3:

Because I like to go to Shriners.

Speaker 4:

Changing the model in how we deliver healthcare at Shriners Children's, we're trying to get to more kids in more places. The days of checking into a hospital and staying there for weeks at a time are a thing of the past. A lot is done on an outpatient basis now, and we need to be in more places that make it easier on the families, with less focus on long distance to travel, long stays.

Speaker 2:

I'm ready for the next hundred. I don't know if I'll be here, maybe for 50 of it or so, but I'll try. I'll do my darnedest.

Trees and nature are a part of the hospital's approach to care with the Chicago location having four permanent live trees in the Patient Activity Mall and five therapeutic backyard garden areas. The addition of these trees enhances the experience for visitors. Among the special guests was Kourtney Goodall, who is almost 7 years old and started coming to Shriners Children's Chicago when she was just 3 months old. Kourtney needed an amputation to live her best life due to an orthopedic condition. With the help of her care team, she was provided with a prosthetic leg. Kourtney and her mom now share her story to help other kids with a limb difference pursue their dreams. Kourtney’s mom said that “she can do everything now,” including cartwheels and gymnastics.

Over the last century, Shriners Children’s has given hope and healing to Kourtney and her mom, as well as over 1.5 million children all over the world. With the planting of these trees, just as they grow and provide healing, so will Shriners Children’s provide for patients and their families around the world.

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