CINCINNATI — For more than 50 years, Shriners Hospitals for Children served the Cincinnati area and helped heal some of the most severe burns on kids. The hospital will still do that, but this week, the facility completed its move to Dayton.
They announced the move in March 2019.
“Repositioning our Cincinnati hospital within Dayton Children’s will allow us to continue to deliver high quality burn care and other services in a space that meets the needs of our patients today more appropriately, economically and efficiently," Shriners Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Mel Bower said at the time.
The Dayton location saw their first patient Monday. The location change was nearly a three-year process – one cause for the move was that the medical center saw fewer inpatients and more outpatients – a growing need that Dayton’s Children’s Hospital fits.
“It allows us to continue the excellent care, burn care that we’ve been providing for more than 50 years in an outpatient facility and it allows us to use the funds instead of for overhead to treat the children themselves,” said Shriners Regional Director of Communications David Rhoad.
Vickie McKee worked as a staff nurse at Shriners from 1985 until 2008.
“It was hard, and we’ve all been just a little melancholy over it and reminiscing and laughing with one another,” she said.
McKee said she loved the staff and the kids – Friday she stepped inside and took a last look around.
“To be there in that space where I spent so many hours, it felt good,” she said. “I needed to say goodbye.”
Lisa Wonderly, another former Shriners nurse, now lives in Arizona.
“It’s sad to see that beautiful building that we erected years ago being empty because it was full of life and hope for so many people for so many years,” she said.
With Shriners no longer in operation, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is available at a local level to treat kids with small burns.