Legacy Shriner Brings Family, Fraternal Experience to Chairman’s Role
A walk down the hallway at Shriners Children’s Ohio is so much more than just a stroll for John Bull, Jr., the new Board of Governors Chairman for Shriners Children’s Ohio.
“I wear that Fez and walk past kids and families who are getting the care they need, and it instantly reminds me of why I’m a Shriner,” Bull said.
It’s a feeling that hasn’t diminished in the 34 years Bull has been part of the fraternity, including serving as past potentate at Antioch Shrine Center in Dayton, Ohio. But John’s ties to Shriners Children’s actually start before he was born.
“My father was treated for polio at Shriners Hospital in the 1930s,” Bull explained. “I think that’s why he was so passionate about becoming a Shriner.” That legacy of service won’t end with John; his son, Eric, is also a Shriner.
“This fraternity is a family, so adding to that family through a second and third generation is what it’s all about,” Bull said.
That focus on family is still what drives him today as he takes the helm as Chairman for Shriners Children’s Ohio for 2024 and 2025.
“We’re committed to treating more kids in more places, so my goal is to make sure families who need burn, cleft lip and palate, and craniofacial care know we’re here and can get to us without any barriers,” Bull said.
He explained the hospital is already positioned for accelerated growth with the hiring of Chief of Staff Sara Higginson, M.D., burn surgeon Ali Fagin, M.D., and director of the pediatric intensive care unit Danielle Webster, M.D. That’s in addition to expanded collaboration with partner Dayton Children’s Hospital to accept more complex craniofacial conditions that may require neurosurgery.
“We have an outstanding, qualified team to help kids. Now it’s about getting in to the Dayton community and forming partnerships so people know there’s a world-class pediatric hospital right in their backyard,” he said.
What is likely to not change as Chairman is the feeling Bull gets each time he sets foot in the facility, a sentiment reinforced by heartwarming experiences.
“A patient sees my Fez, gives me a hug and thanks me; it’s the best feeling in the world.”
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