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imageMore than 50 years ago, Shriners Hospitals for Children expanded their philanthropy to include care for burned children. In so doing, the effects of their work weightily expanded from rehabilitation and quality of life outcomes to include survival proper. As the first facility dedicated to the care of burned children, originally designated the Shriners Burn Institute, the Galveston hospital remains the cornerstone of this endeavor. Shriners maintains charitable pediatric hospitals, provide care irrespective of the patient’s or the family’s ability to pay, and promote research. The sole criterion for admission at Shriners Hospitals for Children is the determination by a surgeon at a Shriners hospital that “the child’s trouble may be corrected or improved.” This philanthropic effort to provide medical care for children is one expression of the human commonality recognized by Shriners. In this article, we provide some background information on how this hospital came into existence as well as a global summary of its interventions toward greater survival and more complete rehabilitation of burned children. Based on the findings presented herein, we assert that there is less suffering and less loss of life due to childhood burns today than in previous years. We attribute much of this improvement to the simple voluntary collective decision by Shriners to provide alms for burned children.

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