U.S. News & World Report annual rankings places Northern California Shriners Hospital among nation’s best


Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California has been recognized as a Best Children’s Hospital for 2021-22 by U.S. News & World Report. The annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings and ratings, now in their 15th year, are designed to assist patients, their families and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions. 


Wearing a Face Mask – Tips to Teach Children


Although children are less likely than adults to test positive for COVID-19, they are still at risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Wearing a face mask, washing your hands with soap and water and maintaining social distancing are the most effective ways to decrease the rate of infection. Children, as a whole, can become infected, but less likely to become as sick and may not show symptoms.


As Families Defer Pediatric Doctor Visits, Scoliosis Diagnoses May Be Missed

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic reduction in routine preventive health care. With fewer doctor visits, more conditions are going undiagnosed and untreated.

According to a recent American Academy of Pediatrics survey, the pandemic has caused a dramatic reduction in pediatrician visits. Two-thirds of primary care pediatricians have reported practice visits are down.[1]


Leading Pediatric Surgeon and Cardiothoracic Surgeon to Host CME webinar February 16

Virtual Provider CME Program

Director of pediatric surgery, Shinjiro Hirose, M.D. and cardiothoracic surgeon, Gary Wayne Raff, M.D., at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, will lead an upcoming Virtual Provider Continuing Medical Education (CME) webinar, Pectus Excavatum – What Every Pediatric Provider Needs to Know.

The webinar will cover various learning objectives including:


Pediatric Rehabilitation & Spinal Cord Injury Team Helps Patient Learn to Walk Again

When Jaszelina was a toddler, her mother noticed that her balance and ability to walk was declining.  Only days shy of her second birthday, doctors diagnosed her with a type of spinal cord tumor called an astrocytoma. Jaszelina underwent a complicated and risky surgery to remove the 10-inch tumor from her upper spine. After the surgery, doctors told her mother Shawna that Jaszelina needed specialty spinal rehabilitation care and referred her to the pediatric rehabilitation program at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California.


Scoliosis treatment restores young girl’s mental and physical health

Haylie came to Shriners Hospitals for Children—Northern California for scoliosis care after initial treatment with a spinal doctor through a local integrated healthcare system. Haylie was in physical pain, out of school and struggling with depression. Doctors told her she would never dance or participate in physically demanding activities again. She was crushed. Dance was her passion.


Pediatric motility testing now available

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California recently welcomed Pediatric GI Motility Disorders Specialist Maheen Ahmed Hassan, M.D., to its medical staff. Dr. Hassan brings exciting new capabilities to the services provided in the hospital’s pediatric colorectal center.


Former Patient Appointed by Governor to State Council on Developmental Disabilities


Kara is a former Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California patient with developmental disabilities. Over the course of her lifetime, Kara has been diagnosed with various congenital orthopaedic conditions affecting her limbs and spine. She is a vibrant and determined 28-year-old woman.

In June of 2019, Kara received a special letter from California State Governor Gavin Newsom.


Bike Party Sacramento brings pedal-powered parade and toys to patients

Bike Party Sacramento brought a pedal-powered parade and a large donation of toys to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California earlier this week. Bicycle riders dressed themselves and their bikes in festive holiday gear to bring smiles and holiday cheer to patients and their families. Patients looked down on the bikers in their decorated outfits, signs and bright lights while playing Christmas music in the background.


Celebrating National Case Managers Week

Care managers help families navigate their child’s health care journey

October 11-17 is National Case Management Week. At Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California, we recognize and appreciate case managers, who are referred to here as care managers. Their support and advocacy for patients and families extends far beyond the walls of the hospital.


Medical staff presentations strengthen and advance care for patients

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California displays significant medical staff presence at annual AACPDM meeting

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California’s Assistant Chief of Orthopaedics Jon Davids, M.D., and orthopaedic surgeon Vedant Kulkarni, M.D., presented at the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Development Medicine (AACPDM) meeting Sep. 23 to 26 – the world’s largest annual scientific meeting dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people with cerebral palsy (CP) and other developmental disabilities.


Mother and Son Treated for Osteogenesis Imperfecta at Shriners Hospitals for Children

Hunter on a tricycle

Hunter is a 10-year-old boy with an infectious laugh and big personality despite his small stature. He loves to ride his bike, climb things and rough-house. He especially loves to wrestle with his dad.

“Hunter loves WWE wrestling,” said Hunter’s mother Amanda. “A lot of pretend wrestling happens at our house. But because of our medical condition, I always have to remind him, ‘You’re breakable, don’t do that!’”


California Children’s Services Designates Hospital as a Colorectal and Urology Special Care Center

Patient sitting on an exam table talking to his doctor

The California Children’s Services (CCS) program, operated by the Integrated Systems of Care Division of the Department of Health Care Services in California, approved  Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California as a Colorectal and Urology Special Care Center (SCC). This recognition distinguishes Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California’s Pediatric Colorectal Center as a destination for outstanding pediatric colorectal care in the state of California.


Yoga Benefits the Body and Mind – Young Patients Show Off Their Superhero Yoga Poses

A flyer for "Superhero Yoga"

Today’s coronavirus pandemic has transformed summer for many kids and families. Everything from summer camps, to sports leagues, to group outings and activities, have all been postponed or canceled. Families have needed to get creative to find new ways to stay active and reduce their stress levels this summer.

Yoga is a great option for exercising the mind and body. It can be anything from simple seated stretches to complex poses that require lots of flexibility and strength.


Vertebral Body Tethering Leads to Patient Doing Back Flips

Baylee and her mom

Baylee arrived into the world prematurely at 24 weeks as a fraternal twin and weighing one pound. On her third day in this world, Baylee underwent open heart surgery. She was in the neonatal intensive care unit for 129 days. After months on ventilators, Baylee was discharged to go home.


Sisters Overcome Physical Differences and Shine on the Track Field

A family standing in front of the hospital

Bayley, Bella and Beka are three dynamic sisters who stand-out on the track field and don’t let their physical differences slow them down.

Last spring, the oldest of the three sisters Bayley was getting ready for her event at a community track meet. She noticed some girls from the other team whispering to one another and pointing at her prosthetic legs.


Chest Wall Reconstruction Allows Patient to Pursue his Dreams

Zachary smiling in the forest

Zachary is only 18-years-old but has a calmness about him making him appear much older and wiser than his peers. He enjoys listening to music from the 40s and 50s, music not often appreciated by others his age. He loves the calm of the outdoors and he loves to hike.


Shriners Inspires WCMX Wheelchair Skating Champion

Alyssa on skating ramp

In Sacramento, 16-year old Alyssa was tearing up the skate park. She launched herself into a 12-foot vertical drop, shot straight down the concrete bowl lined with chipped pool tiles and raced full speed to the other side where she spun back around with a look of fierce determination.

“I’ve seen her do a lot of tricks, and I have to admit, that was the first time I’ve been a little nervous for her,” said Alyssa’s mother Anna.


Bowel Management Programs Helps Patient Gain Independence

A boy sitting on a pillar next to his mom

Bowel management is a subject that most 14 year-old boys can’t have a serious conversation about. But Mathew, a 14 year-old pediatric colorectal patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California, has the vocabulary to talk about his colorectal condition with poise and confidence. Mathew has been a Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California Pediatric Colorectal Center patient since he was ten years old, and he willingly shares his story with kids and parents who might benefit from it.


Off-Duty Firefighters Jump Into Action

A boy smiling next to a dog

Ayden is a 10-year-old boy who has a long and diverse set of interests. He loves playing drums, skiing, golfing, swim team, playing baseball, football, basketball and almost every other sport. He also loves hanging out with his friends, a close-knit group he’s known since he was little. Today Ayden is slowly getting back into all the activities he loves, following a terrifying accident several months ago.


Ben Ali Shriners and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California Employees Collect Toiletry Donations for River City Food Bank

A group posing in front of a transportation van

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As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, food banks in the Sacramento region are working overtime to meet the growing needs of community members seeking assistance. Food Banks throughout the nation have been learning how to operate in a new “normal” as the demand for food and resources continues to rise. The pandemic has created a large new group of people seeking help for the first time in their lives and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.


Fifth-Annual BikeFit Program Now Underway for Summer 2020

A group at the 2020 BikeFit Program

On June 1, 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California launched its 2020 BikeFit Program. BikeFit is an annual summer program that outfits approximately 20 lucky Shriners patients with customized, adaptive bicycles that meet patients’ specific physical needs. Shriners Hospitals for Children medical and therapy staff refer patients to the BikeFit program throughout the year. Patients are accepted into the program based on their ability to ride an adaptive bike, their families’ ability to store and use the bike, and based on need.


Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California Hosts Employee Blood Drive to Help Build Critically- Low National Blood Supply

A man donating blood at the staff blood drive

One side effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic has been a dramatic reduction in the nation’s blood supply. Blood supplies across the nation are critically-low. Available blood supply is critical for medical care, including burn treatment, complex orthopaedic needs, and other operations that are performed on a regular basis at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California (SHCNC).


Celebrating 50 years of the Shriners ‘Editorial Without Words’

Exterior of Shriners Hospital

The photo known as the “Editorial Without Words” is one of the Shriners’ most recognizable images. It was taken almost by accident, 50 years ago, on June 11, 1970, in Evansville, Indiana. This special moment, captured for all time, eloquently illustrates the relationship between the Shriners fraternity and Shriners Hospitals for Children.


Neighborhood Outreach — Tahoe Elementary

Neighborhood Outreach — Tahoe Elementary

Volunteers holding up bags for families

Today Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California teamed up with the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) to distribute approximately 200 home activity kits to local families.

Shriners staff distributed the kits today at Tahoe Elementary School, a SCUSD school approximately two miles from the Shriners Sacramento campus. The kits were distributed this morning, at the same time SCUSD nutrition services workers distributed curbside free meals to families.


Big Day of Giving 2020 Brings in Over $61,000

A thank you for raising over $61K for a Big Day of Giving 2020

In 24 hours, over 360 donors from the Sacramento region and beyond contributed over $61,000 to Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California on Big Day of Giving 2020. With a 13% increase in donations, this year is significant given the financial hardships for the Sacramento region, due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Teen burn survivor gives ‘Thank You’ performance

Luis giving a thank you performance

After twelve years of intense, pediatric burn care and physical therapy, Luis Flores gave a special “Thank You Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California” performance. Luis sang and played the accordion, gifted to him from hospital staff, in the hospital’s Central Activity Pavilion, a playtime sanctuary where kids engage in structured and unstructured play each day. As Californians continue to shelter in place, Shriners Hospitals for Children—Northern California (SHCNC) continues to provide highly specialized care for children with burns


Closer Alliance Under Consideration

Panorama of the hospital

Leaders from Shriners Hospitals for Children and UC Davis Health have entered into talks to consider ways that their partnership can positively impact the care of children in the region. The goal of the talks is to build on the success of the partnership between these two organizations that dates back to the early 1990s, when the Shriners made the decision to build a new, multi-disciplinary hospital in Sacramento.


Sacramento Ballet Brings Holiday Performance to Kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children

Dancers from the Sac Ballet

Patients and families at Shriners Hospitals for Children enjoyed a dose of holiday magic when dancers from the Sacramento Ballet performed scenes from the Nutcracker on Monday, Dec. 9. The 12
ballerinas who performed at the hospital will dance in the annual holiday performance of the Nutcracker Dec. 12 – 22 at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The ballerinas are with The Sacramento Ballet
School, where they are completing their training to become professional dancers.


Shriners Hospital Physical Therapist Elected to California Physical Therapy Association Board

Leslie Torburn

Shriners Hospital physical therapist Leslie Torburn, PT, DPT, has been elected to the Board of the California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA). She will serve a three-year term beginning in January 2020. With over 9,000 members, the CPTA is the third-largest physical therapy association in the world. Its mission is to build a community that advances the profession of physical therapy to improve the health of society.


FOX40 Holiday Toy Drive Benefits Kids at Shriners Hospital

Flyer for the FOX40 Toy Drive

Families from Sacramento to Turlock and Vacaville to Placerville can make holiday wishes come true for kids at Shriners Hospital by participating in the FOX40 Holiday Toy Drive. It is easy to do. Between now and Dec. 14, Big O Tires and Sizzler stores throughout the region are inviting families to deliver a new, unwrapped toy to one of their participating locations.


Hospital Dieticians Participate in Reading Program

Two women reading books to kids

For more than a decade, teachers at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California have participated in national campaign to promote the importance of early literacy. Read for the Record ® is the name of the campaign that encourages people around the world to read the same book to kids on the same day.


Shriners Vote to Expand Services at Northern California Hospital

Panoramic shot of Shriners Hospital

Shriners Hospitals for Children is paving the way for the development of a pediatric powerhouse in the heart of Northern California. In a unanimous decision, the Joint Boards of Shriners Hospitals for Children voted to expand programs and services at its hospital in Sacramento.


Doctors Perform Great Pumpkin Surgery

Doctors performing an "operation" on giant pumpkins

The curriculum in the Shriners Hospital School took on a Halloween theme when Shriners Hospital doctors performed the “Great Pumpkin Surgery”. The demonstration was a special Halloween treat for patients and parents at the Northern California hospital.


2019 DAISY Award Winner Honored for Exceptional Nursing Care

Cedric Objero posing with his award

Cedric Objero, R.N., was honored for the exceptional care he provides patients and families at Shriners Hospitals for Children as the recipient of the 2019 DAISY Award. The annual award recognizes nurses who go over and above their day-to-day responsibilities to make a positive difference. Objero provides in-patient care to children recovering from surgery as well as life-threatening burns. Nurse manager Robyn Bartlett, R.N., presented Objero with the award at a luncheon attended by his colleagues on October 7.


Golfers Drive for Shriners

Joe DeBiasio and Michael Valencia walking on the golf course

Two top-notch golfers will walk the links of Granite Bay Golf Club together for the final round of the 2019 Capital Cup charity golf tournament on Sunday, Sept. 29. Joe DeBiasio, a local business executive golfing to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children, chose Michael Valencia as his caddie. Michael, a below-the-knee amputee, was an infant when he had his first appointment at Shriners Hospital.


BikeFit Program Puts Kids in the Driver’s Seat

A kid riding a bike with a man running along side him

Patients of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California pedaled their way to fitness this summer. For eight Friday mornings in a row, 23 patients arrived at the hospital to participate in the BikeFit exercise program. They engaged in activities designed to promote fun and fitness — water games, disco dance and cycling, of course. Each BikeFit participant was fitted with an adaptive cycle, which they were able to take home after successfully completing the program.


Community that Cares Provides Gift of Music

A boy in a wheelchair holding a guitar

Like many kids his age, Jahziel, 15, is familiar with popular musicians and their songs. At home, he and his friends loved to watch music videos and enjoyed pretending they, too, were pop stars playing their guitars. But that playful fun came to halt when Jahziel was transported to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California with severe burn injuries in March 2019. He spent weeks in the hospital’s intensive care unit, where he met music therapist Ronni Paine.


Christmas Comes Early to Kids at Shriners Hospital

Two kids posing with their art kits

Elk Grove Subaru Partners with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on Share the Love Campaign to Help Kids

Christmas came early to kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. Thanks to the generosity of two local organizations, kids were all smiles when Santa arrived at the hospital’s annual Christmas in July party with art kits for kids in his bag of gifts.


Shriners Hospital Photographer Awarded Fellowship in BioCommunications Association

Julia Serat posing with her award

Shriners Hospital photographer and Medical Media Manager Julia Serat returned from the 89th Meeting of the BioCommunications Association (BCA) with an honor recognizing her work in advancing visual communications. The Association honored Serat with the distinction of Fellow in the BCA. The fellowship is awarded “for distinguished craftsmanship and meritorious contribution to the advancement of media in the life sciences.” Serat was presented with the honor in June at the BCA’s annual meeting in Pacific Grove, Calif.


Pediatric Surgeons Make Dream Come True

Wyatt smiling in the pool

Four-year-old Wyatt’s dream of swimming like other kids came true thanks to the Pediatric Surgery team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. Wyatt was born with Hirschsprung disease, a condition that affects the large intestine and the ability to have normal bowel movements.


Burn Chief Publishes Article in the New England Journal of Medicine

Dr. Greenhalgh

An article by David Greenhalgh, M.D., Chief of Burns at the Northern California Shriners Hospital, has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Management of Burns” is the title of the article that appears in the Journal’s June 13, 2019 edition. Published by the Massachusetts Medical Society, the New England Journal of Medicine is one of the oldest and most-prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals.


Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California Ranked as a Top 10 Provider of Pediatric Orthopaedics by U.S. News & World Report

Doctors working with a patient

For the eighth year in a row, Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California is ranked as one of the nation’s elite providers of pediatric orthopaedic care by U.S. News & World Report.

In its annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks the Northern California Shriners Hospital as number eight in pediatric orthopaedics in conjunction with the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. The Northern California Shriners Hospital also achieved the ranking of 20th in Urology in conjunction with UC Davis.


Shriners Hospital Orthopaedic Surgeons Present at Annual POSNA Meeting

POSNA Presenters

Doctors from Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California presented best practices and clinical research findings at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) that took place in Charlotte, NC, May 15-18. The POSNA meeting is a national gathering of professionals who work to advance the care of children with musculoskeletal disorders through education, research and advocacy.


Diagnosis of Early Onset Scoliosis Leads Family to Shriners Hospital

A mom and dad pushing their kids on the swings

Vanessa Errecarte is the daughter of a Shriner. But it wasn’t until her own daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis that the Davis mother witnessed first-hand the excellence of her father’s lifelong cause.

“My dad will be the first to say that he never hoped anyone in his family would need care at Shriners, but now that we do, it’s been wonderful to see the amazing place that is a result of the philanthropy undertaken by Shriners,” said Vanessa.


Northern California Burn Team Presents at 51st Annual Meeting of the ABA

The burn team

Burn care leaders at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California played an active role in the 51st annual meeting of the American Burn Association that took place in Las Vegas, April 2 – 5.

Members of the Northern California burn team participated in nearly 20 meetings and presentations and captured three awards:


Peter Waters, M.D., Hand Surgeon to Speak at Shriners Hospital

Flyer for the R. Kirklin Ashley Lectureship

Peter Waters, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon noted for his expertise in the care of children with brachial plexus birth palsies, will speak at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California on Tuesday, April 16,  as visiting professor for the 2019 R. Kirklin Ashley Lectureship.


Plastic Surgeon Repairs Dog Bite Wound

Little boy smiling at the camera

When a family dog severely bit their 3-year-old son’s face, a Vacaville couple’s life was thrown into frantic, gut-wrenching turmoil.

After initial treatment at the UC Davis Medical Center, doctors there reached out to Pirko Maguina, M.D., a plastic surgeon at Shriners Hospital for Children — Northern California. They advised that he was the best surgeon to perform the delicate facial surgery needed to correct the large disfigurement.


REALTORS® Who Shrine Presents Shriners Hospital with Its First ‘Commission’ from Residential Home Sale

Two women holding up a big check for 2K

It’s not too early to issue a winning appraisal to a real-estate deal that benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. The hospital has received its first “commission” from REALTORS® Who Shrine, a generous donation program that directs 25 percent of participating real-agents’ commision from every residential sale directly to the hospital in the name of the clients.


Northern California Shriners Hospital Represented in New National Photo Exhibit

Formerly conjoined twins posing with their walkers

A photograph taken by Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California photographer Julia Serat was selected for inclusion in the biennial Children’s Hospitals Photo Exhibit—the result of a national competition administered by the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA).

The winning photo is of formerly conjoined twins, Eva and Erika Sandoval working with physical therapists Kelly Sattler-Petrocchi and Laura van Houtryve.


Show Them Love Telethon Raises Over $50,000 to Benefit Northern California Shriners Hospital

Two miniature horses with volunteers

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California found out what love is when FOX40 Television hosted the Show Them Love telethon on March 6. Broadcasting live from the hospital lobby, the FOX40 news team conducted interview-after-interview as patients, parents, doctors, staff and volunteers told what makes Shriners Hospitals for Children different from the rest.


Sisters with Hand Differences Seek to Master the Piano

A girl learning piano

Many children view piano lessons as a burden, but two sisters at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California have seized their opportunity to master the difficult instrument despite physical challenges.

Hannah and Katie Bernard were each born with a misshapen leg and missing fingers, but adopted from their native China by a family that knew love and the best medical care could lead to normal, fruitful lives.


FOX40 Television Hosts Show Them Love Telethon on March 6

Shriners patient on FOX40

Lights! Camera! Action! On Wednesday, March 6, FOX40 television will host the Show Them Love telethon to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the hospital lobby will be transformed into the television set for the telethon (#ShowThemLove) organized to support the innovative pediatric specialty care that is the hallmark of Shriners Hospitals for Children.


Shriners Hospital Launches Burn Prevention Program for School Children

Shriners patient at a Burn Prevention seminar

UPDATED DATES for 2020 in Original Post

The first week of February marks the kick-off of community prevention education efforts in celebration of national Burn Awareness Week (Feb. 2 – 8).  Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California chose the annual observance as a time to roll out its Safety Begins at Home burn prevention program for K – 3rd graders.


Super Heroic Shoes Help Kids at Shriners Hospital Feel Like Superheroes

Girl holding up a cape smiling

A spectacular donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, has given special meaning to the familiar phrase “if the shoe fits wear it.”  Super Heroic, an organization guided by the motto that play is good for the soul is making patients at Shriners Hospital feel like superheroes through its gift of 200 pairs of Super Heroic Shoes.


Variety Children’s Charity Donates Freedom Cycles to Shriners Hospital Patients

Patient riding a tricycle with a bow on it

Twenty Shriners Hospital patients will ride into the New Year on a new cycle, custom-designed to meet their specific needs thanks to the Freedom Program sponsored by Variety, the Children’s Charity. Variety’s Freedom Program gives children with physical challenges the gift of mobility by providing adaptive bicycles, trikes and other equipment that promote independence, mobility and freedom.


Jackson Rancheria Brings Holiday Cheer to Children at Shriners Hospital

Boy working on a gingerbread house with two women

The sights and sounds of Christmas filled the play area at Shriners Hospital when the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort hosted a holiday party for patients this week.Rich Hoffman, CEO of Jackson Rancheria, serenaded patients and families with holiday carols while a team of Santa’s elves — Jackson Rancheria employees — helped kids build gingerbread houses.

“Giving back during the holiday season is very important to Jackson Rancheria, and our holiday giving always includes bringing cheer to children in need,” said Hoffman.


FOX40’s Holiday Toy Drive Benefits Kids at Shriners Hospital

Flyer for the FOX40 Toy Drive

Broadcasting live from Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Elk Grove, FOX40 kicked off its Holiday Toy Drive on Monday, November 26. Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California is the lucky beneficiary of the annual toy drive that continues through December 7.


“Pull-Through” Surgery Gives Young Patient the Gift of Play

Young Shriners Patient playing

Shortly after Giovanni was born at a Southern California hospital, nurses noticed he had a rare abnormality. They fed him and his stomach swelled up and remained distended. Further examination revealed that Giovanni had an anorectal malformation that occurs in roughly 1 in 5,000 births. His colon did not develop in the right location, making it impossible for Giovanni to have a normal bowel movement.


Shriners Hospital Patient to Golf with Pros in PGA Pro-Am Tournament in Las Vegas

John Scott posing with a golf club

A longtime Shriners Hospital for Children — Northern California patient whose golf game has soared like an eagle thanks to many hospital visits — and lots of practice — will play in a PGA pro-am tournament later this month in Las Vegas.

John Scott Senz, an 18-year-old senior on the Concord High School golf team, will tee it up with many of the top golfers in the world on October 31 in the annual Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin.


Olympic Paratriathlete Says Sports Transformed His Life

Young girl on a paralympic bike

Olympic para-triathlete Mohammad Lahna told how sports transformed his life when he spoke at the Reaching Your Stride Seminar at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California on Saturday, October 13. Patients and their families attended the seminar which focused on the challenges, opportunities and accomplishments of individuals with limb differences.


Dancing ‘Spirit Queen’ Gives Back to Her Community

Girl having her prosthetic adjusted

A patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California since she was one-year-old, Baylee, 7, has been fitted for several prostheses over the years. During a recent appointment with prosthetist Eric Smith, Baylee demonstrated her love of dancing as she tried out her new leg.


Teddy Bears Land at Shriners Hospital in Celebration of National Teddy Bear Day

Three women taking Shriners bears out of boxes

Sixty teddy bears landed at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, just in time to celebrate National Teddy Bear Day on Sunday, Sept. 9.  The hospital’s child life team was all smiles as they unpacked boxes of the bears donated by Southwest® Airlines and Build-A-Bear, knowing what joy they would bring to kids at the hospital.


Shriners Hospitals for Children Hosts Regional Burn Conference on November 2

Young Burn Patient in a hospital bed

Doctors, nurses, firefighters and paramedics from throughout California and the Western United States are invited to the 2018 Regional Burn Conference at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California on Friday, November 2.  Presentations and discussions will be facilitated by internationally noted burn surgeons who lead the burn program at the Shriners regional pediatric burn center in Sacramento.


Kids Explore Potential at Camp Winning Hands

Young boy doing a ropes course

For the 9th year in a row, the orthopaedic team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California gave kids with hand differences an opportunity to make new friends, gain new confidence, and have a lot of fun at Camp Winning Hands. The overnight summer camp is organized by Shriners Hospital in partnership with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. It is hosted by The Taylor Family Foundation at Camp Arroyo in Livermore, Calif.


Facility Dog Joins Child Life team

Young girl putting bandages on a dog

The newest member of the Child Life team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California is friendly, furry and responsive to the needs of patients and families. His name is Yogo. He is a medium-sized black labradoodle.  His official working title is Facility Dog. He works a full time schedule, and he plays an important role in enhancing the family-friendly environment of care.


Break or Fracture?

A young girl getting a cast put on

Parents and sports coaches often ask if an injury is a break or a fracture? Our expert on this topic, Candice O. McDaniel, M.D., a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, is going to help answer questions on the types of fractures and the care needed to help your child heal.


Sisters Gain New Independence at Shriners Hospital

Erika Sandoval using her walker

Twin sisters Eva and Erika Sandoval are gaining new strength and independence at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California.

Conjoined at birth, the sisters were surgically separated in December 2016 at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.  The operation gave them the opportunity to grow up together as independent individuals.

Now, specialists at Shriners Hospital are helping to guide them on that journey.


Bunny Lady Makes the Rounds at Shriners Hospital

Young Patient holding bunny

This is a story that will make you believe in the Easter Bunny.

Just ask Shriners Hospital volunteer Barbara Koenigsmark, this year’s recipient of the hospital’s highest volunteer honor —the Doug Busath Lifetime Achievement Award.

For the past 15 years, Barbara and her bunny have made hospital rounds twice a month like clockwork. Fondly known as “the bunny lady,” Barbara says her passion for pet therapy began with an Easter gift that was delivered nearly two decades ago.


Shriners Hospital Photographer Receives Award of Excellence

Young man playing the cello

Portrait of Cellist Inspired by the Healing Power of Music

Julia Serat, a photographer at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, was recognized for her outstanding work at BIOCOMM 2018, the annual meeting of the BioCommunications Association that took place June 19-22 in Savannah, Georgia. Ms. Serat’s photograph of cellist Eunghee Cho received the Award of Excellence in the Still Media Portraiture category of the BioImages visual media competition.


Three Tips to Comfort Your Child

A child on his mom's lap talking to a nurse

Parents and caregivers play a vital role in reducing the pain and anxiety that may be caused by medical procedures.  At Shriners Hospitals for Children, child life specialists recommend using these 3 strategies to ease stress and comfort your child.

1. Comfort Positions


Shriners Hospital Gives Student Athlete Care and Confidence to Compete

Antwon working out with his physical therapist

Antwon began his freshman year at Kennedy High School in Sacramento with a desire to excel in academics and sports. His fall semester seemed practically perfect. His class schedule included his two favorite subjects — science and math. When classes were over, he laced up his cleats and headed to football practice.

The schedule was right in sync with 15-year-old Antwon’s long-term goals. “I want to finish high school strong, earn a college degree in engineering and become a professional athlete,” he says.


American Burn Association Honors Shriners Hospital Physical Therapist

Ingrid Parry receiving her award

Ingrid Parry, a physical therapist at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, has been honored by the American Burn Association (ABA) as the recipient of the 2018 Barbara Knothe Burn Therapist Achievement Award.  The award commemorates the spirit of Barbara Knothe, who dedicated over 20 years of service to burn rehabilitation. It is intended to inspire occupational and physical therapists to be both clinical and research based in their daily practice.


Shriners Hospitals for Children Recognized as Brand of the Year

Picture ofShriners Hospital

Tampa, Florida (May 2, 2018) – Shriners Hospitals for Children® is honored to share the news that it has been named 2018 Health Nonprofit Brand of the Year, based on the Harris Poll EquiTrend® Equity Score.

In addition, Shriners Hospitals ranked Highest in Trust in its category.


A Night to Remember

A guy wheeling down the red carpet and a woman walking next to him

On Saturday, April 28, Shriners Hospitals for Children ­– Northern California rolled out the red carpet to welcome patients and their guests to its second annual hospital prom. Billed as A Night to Remember, the event began with hair and make-up appointments in the early afternoon followed by limousine rides and a dance in the hospital auditorium. The spectacular event was punctuated by cheers, tears and memories to last a lifetime.


Shriners Hospital Hosts R. Kirklin Ashley Lectureship on May 1st

Picture of William McKenzie

William G. Mackenzie, M.D., a world-renowned pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, will speak at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California on May 1, 2018 as visiting professor for the 2018 R. Kirklin Ashley Lectureship.

The Ashley Lectureship is organized by the Department of Orthopaedics to advance care through clinical excellence and continuing education. The program is offered as a community service and is free of charge to all participants. Registration is not required, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.


Kids Use iPads to Share Information with Doctors

Young boy using a tablet

“I have noticed that adolescents are more willing to tell an iPad that they are struggling with peer relationships than to volunteer this information in response to in-person questioning.”  – Michelle James, M.D., Chief of Orthopaedics


Couple Injured in 2013 Boston Marathon to Speak at Shriners Hospital on April 23

Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, a married couple who were both injured during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 will speak at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California at 2:30 p.m., Monday, April 23, 2018. They will share their experience that ultimately inspired their children’s book Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship — a story of love and teamwork between a girl and her service dog. They will be joined by Rescue, Jessica’s service dog and star of her children’s book.


Pressure Garments Help Burn Patients Heal

Jeri Whalen sewing

“I enjoy providing a service that can have such a positive impact on how a patient looks and feels,” says Jeri Whalen, one of four technicians who design and fabricate pressure garments for children with burn injuries at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California.


Middle School Students Introduced to Career Pathways

Group of students looking at x-rays

Health care professionals from Shriners Hospitals for Children gave middle school students an eye-opening introduction to allied health careers on January 17. Nearly 70 students from Fern Bacon, California and Sutter Middle Schools packed the Shriners Hospital auditorium for their Journey to Allied Health Careers, a community collaborative organized by Health Workforce Initiative, Health Professions High School, UC Davis Health and Shriners Hospitals for Children.


Kids Drive Themselves to Surgery

A girl driving a child's car

A desire to take some of the stress out of the surgical experience inspired an innovative approach to care at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California.

That care comes in the form of electric cars that kids between the ages of 2 and 7 years old can drive to surgery.  The toy cars are just like those that can be purchased off the shelf at a big box retailer.  But when a patient sits behind the wheel they become vehicles of change.


Patient Walks for First Time in Three Years after Successful Surgery

Martin using a walker

Martin arrived at Shiners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, in the summer of 2017 with a wheelchair and a diagnosis — osteogenesis imperfecta. Commonly referred to as brittle bone disease, osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a congenital disorder characterized by defective connective tissue and brittle bones that are prone to fracture. Treatment includes surgery to repair broken bones.