Dallas' Scottish Rite Hospital celebrates 100 years of improving orthopedics for children
CEO Bob Walker talks with KERA's Justin Martin about how Scottish Rite for Children has grown from 1921 to today.
A Dallas hospital that has helped hundreds of thousands of children in North Texas and around the world celebrated its 100th birthday last month.
KERA's Justin Martin talked to Bob Walker, CEO of Scottish Rite for Children, about the hospital's history and future plans.
Interview highlights were lightly edited for clarity.
On how the hospital started:
A group of masons partnered with the first orthopedic surgeon in Dallas, his name being W.B. Carrell, and they realized there was a need for a facility to take care of children with polio.
Dr. Carrell came to Dallas after World War I and opened up his office at Welborn and Maple, where we are today, and started initially seeing patients free of charge in his office with the support of the Masonic community.
Shortly after that, the need was recognized for an inpatient facility. So in 1921 the hospital was built primarily for the purpose of treating children with polio.
On shifting from polio to orthopedic conditions:
Polio required a lot of orthopedic interventions. So if you go back from 1921, you go through the '20s, '30s and '40s. And predominantly what we saw was polio. However, we did see some other conditions, but by far the majority were polio.
Then in the '50s, the Salk and Sabin vaccine was discovered, which was a huge thing. And fortunately, it pretty much eradicated polio in this country and started around the world. After that happened, it was a significant event for the hospital.
But because polio required a lot of orthopedic intervention, the natural growth was to become a pediatric orthopedic hospital.
On their first ever capital campaign to raise $100 million:
We felt in order to celebrate our 100 years, that a great goal to have is to raise $100 million, and those funds would be used in a variety of different ways.
You know, we have a lot of plans for renovation for this facility. We've certainly done some along the way. But there are so many things that we really need to upgrade.
We're in the middle of upgrading our surgical suites and a number of our clinical areas. And so part of these funds that we will raise would be for those purposes.
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