Shriners Children’s Greenville Readies to Celebrate System’s 100th Anniversary Since 1922, Shriners Children’s has assisted in the life-changing treatment of over 1.4 million children. First established to make an impact on the 20th century’s polio epidemic – over the 10 decades that followed, care extended nationwide to not only pediatric orthopedic concerns, but also cleft lip and palate as well as burn injuries. However, at the Greenville location, treatment has always solely focused on the original expertise: orthopedics. “Over the seven years I’ve worked at Shriners Children’s Greenville, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mentioned my job to a stranger – and then their face lights up and they tell me how they or someone they love benefitted from what began 100 years ago,” said Trana Pittam, Marketing and Communications Director, Shriners Children’s Greenville. Since 1927, when the South Carolina location was first established, Shriners Children’s Greenville has claimed countless awards – most recently, repeated recognition by the Press Ganey organization for patient experience and the Zero Harm Award from the South Carolina Hospital Association. Today, it is home to the largest team of pediatric orthopedic surgeons in the Carolinas. The team of seven has over 150 years combined experience. “I would say one of the greatest challenges in my role is educating not only the public, but Shriners as well, regarding our payment structure; it’s important to understand that what we offer is not ‘charity care’ but rather state-of-the-art treatment with tremendously positive outcomes,” Pittam said. “Prior to the 2010s, our care was more widely referred to as ‘free.’ Now, we gladly accept insurance and it is important that Shriners help us by adopting the phrase ‘regardless of ability to pay’ or ‘regardless of insurance status’ to better reflect our high standards and payment structure.” At Shriners Children’s Greenville, over 85 different orthopedic conditions are treated – with care for spine, hip, cerebral palsy and limb differences among the many sometimes-complex cases for which the hospital offers specialized treatment. Injury care, including sprains, strains and fractures, is an offering that many children may utilize the hospital for on a one-time basis. Plans to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the hospital system includes many internal festivities – including recognizing 100 staff members across the system as “Employee Ambassadors.” These employees will not only be featured in a system-wide e-newsletter sharing their story with Shriners Children’s but those selected will also serve as “cheerleaders” for celebrating employee pride. A large celebration at the first hospital in the system in Shreveport, Louisiana, is in the planning stages and will be accompanied by localized celebrations at many other locations. “Celebrating a milestone this sensational during an ongoing pandemic makes it trickier to plan an event fitting the occasion while also being mindful of the health and safety of our patients, staff and the community,” Pittam said. “But we’ve never been afraid of a challenge, and we are looking forward to a wonderful 100th anniversary!” The official anniversary date is in September 2022, and hospital officials say supporting temples will be notified regarding when and how Shriners Children’s Greenville will mark the momentous occasion in the coming months.