In addition to the Junior League of Dallas, there’s another organization that’s celebrating its ten decades of being a true gem within North Texas. It’s known for its colorful hallways and the scent of fresh popcorn. Sounds like an indoor Six Flags, but it’s actually an incredible institution of compassion and recovery for children with orthopedic conditions. For as long as most folks can recall, it’s been known as Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. But that’s a mouthful.
As part of its century celebration, the name has been changed to simply Scottish Rite for Children. Makes sense. After all, the word “hospital” is pretty scary for a child of any age. And, everybody knows that it’s Texas grown. Where else would you find such a program?
Ironically, Scottish Rite got its start when the world was suffering another highly infectious disease — polio. The virus took a daunting toll on children, who at best suffered muscle weakness and paralysis. It was in 1921 that Dr. W.B. Carrell had set up practice as Dallas’ first orthopedic surgeon when a group of Texas Masons provided the backing for a clinic to treat children with polio free of charge. From that start, it became apparent that, unlike adults, “children’s bodies were still growing, orthopedic conditions or injuries require highly specialized expertise.”
Over the decades Scottish Rite has become a world leader in “revolutionizing the industry through patient care, research and education,” treating more than 335,000 patients to “maximize their potential and realize their dreams.” While Scottish Rite under the leadership of just four chiefs-of-staff (Dr. W.B Carrell, his son Dr. Brandon Carrell, Dr. J.A. “Tony” Herring and Dr. Daniel J. Sucato) has grown to today’s three locations in North Texas and earned an international reputation for excellence, its initial policy of providing treatments and care without payment is still in place, thanks to the support of donors.
As Scottish Rite President/CEO Robert L. Walker explained, “For 100 years, Scottish Rite for Children’s mission has never wavered. Throughout the years, each staff member, volunteer, trustee, friend and donor has focused on how we can improve the lives of the children we serve locally and around the world.”
In addition to providing treatments and care for its patients, Scottish Rite is known for having “more than 50 patents on revolutionary medical devices and 280 active research protects,” as well as developing “the consensus medical definition of dyslexia” in 1965 and “writing the textbook used to train orthopedic surgeons worldwide.”
To celebrate its century of providing “the very best care for children with orthopedic conditions and learning disorders,” Scottish Rite is renewing its commitment to another 100 years of patient care, research and expansion and renovation with news that it’s halfway to its first-ever capital campaign — called the “Boundless Centennial Campaign” — of $100M.
In place of a fattening birthday cake with 100 candles, Dallas will celebrate its hometown treasure by lighting up the skyline Sunday night. Instead of sending a birthday card, why not make a donation? It will be a gift that keeps giving for generations to come.
* Graphic courtesy of Scottish Rite for Children