Advertisement
  1. Health

Shriners Hospital in Tampa plans to end inpatient care, shed jobs

By changing to an outpatient facility, the hospital that made its mark treating children for free says it's responding to changes in the need for complex pediatric care.
The entrance to Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, located at 12502 USF Pine Dr. near the University of South Florida. The hospital, which opened in 1985, says it will change to an outpatient facility in August 2019.
Published Jan. 30

The Shriners Hospitals For Children — Tampa is moving away from hospital care and will focus on outpatient, same-day services beginning in August.

Its nonprofit parent organization, known for charitable work, is transitioning a number of its hospitals to this new focus. Tampa will become one of five that will no longer offer hospital care for children, according to Mel Bower, a spokesman for the organization. Shriners operates 20 hospitals across the country.

"As health care needs have changed, especially in pediatric care, we've found less of a need for hospital care," said Bower. "Our facility is seeing fewer patients who need this kind of complex care."

TO YOUR HEALTH: Check out the Times Health page for news and trends that affect you and your family.

Bower confirmed that some hospital employees will lose their jobs due to the change, but did not say how many. The hospital has yet to file layoff notices with the state.

"The more complex surgeries will be done at a different facility" from now on, Bower said. Shriners physicians will refer patients to other nearby hospitals, Bower said, but patients can also be transferred to Shriners hospitals in Shreveport, La., and Greensville, S.C.

"The decisions is based on health care patterns. Because Tampa is an extremely competitive marketplace, we're seeing less children," Bower said.

Last year, Shriners considered consolidating burn care at a number of its hospitals around the country, but ultimately chose not to. In 2009, the organization considered shuttering hospitals due to withering endowments.

Routine care, like prosthetic and wheelchair fittings, among other appointments, will continue at the Tampa hospital. There are no plans to renovate or alter the hospital building.

Shriners Hospitals for Children treated patients for free and did not accept insurance for many years. That changed in 2011, when the organization began accepting insurance, but still provides free care for uninsured children. Over the years they became famous for helping children with severe burns, clubbed feet and other debilitating injuries. They are funded by Shriners International, a Masonic fraternity open to men with nearly 200 chapters in the U.S. and other countries. The philanthropic organization is also based in Tampa.

The 60-bed, acute-care hospital in Tampa provides rehabilitation services and specialized care for children with orthopaedic conditions, and scoliosis and spine issues. The hospital opened on the University of South Florida campus in 1985, and has served more than 50,000 children with orthopaedic care.

MORE HEALTH COVERAGE: With a new name and more space, Metro Inclusive Health aims to expand its reach

In 1989, physicians successfully separated the legs of a patient with sirenomelia, or "Mermaid Syndrome" in Tampa. The hospital's director of pediatric orthotic and prosthetic services established one of the country's first licensing boards for orthopaedic and prosthetic devices in Tampa. And in 2011, the Tampa hospital performed the nation's first Stanmore expandable endoprosthesis procedure, which involves removing a bone tumor and fitting the patient with a prosthesis to help the limb grow naturally.

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. This May 2018, photo provided by Joseph Jenkins shows his son, Jay, in the emergency room of the Lexington Medical Center in Lexington, S.C. Jay Jenkins suffered acute respiratory failure and drifted into a coma, according to his medical records, after he says he vaped a product labeled as a smokable form of the cannabis extract CBD. Lab testing commissioned as part of an Associated Press investigation into CBD vapes showed the cartridge that Jenkins says he puffed contained a synthetic marijuana compound blamed for at least 11 deaths in Europe. JOSEPH JENKINS  |  AP
    The vapor that Jenkins inhaled didn’t relax him. After two puffs, he ended up in a coma.
  2. H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute is the centerpiece of Project Arthur, an 800-acre corporate park that could include up 24 million square feet of office and industrial space on nearly 7,000 acres of what is now ranch land, but targeted for development in central Pasco. Times
    The H. Lee Moffitt facility is the centerpiece of an economic development effort in a proposed 800-acre corporate park.
  3. Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, posted this photo and open letter to Judge Thomas Palermo to her Instagram account on September 10, the day after she lost custody of her 4-year-old son Noah McAdams. The boy's parents wanted to treat his leukemia with natural health care remedies instead of chemotherapy. [Instagram] ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Instagram
    The couple refused chemotherapy for their son, instead seeking alternative treatments including dietary plans, alkaline water and THC and CBD oil treatments
  4. Sharon Hayes, the new chief executive officer at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, says she will draw on her roots in nursing as she engineers a turnaround for the hospital. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    The city’s largest hospital has suffered setbacks under a corporate owner, but a new leader says it’s time for an infusion of “love and attention.”
  5. An architect's rendering shows part of a planned research center and hospital on N McKinley Drive in Tampa for the Moffitt Cancer Center. During the 2020 legislative session in Tallahassee, the center will seek an increased share of Florida's cigarette tax to finance the McKinley Drive project and other improvements. Moffitt officials said Thursday that the increase initially would finance $205 million, to be paired with $332 million they have already allocated for the project. Moffitt Cancer Center
    Florida lawmakers are the key to unlocking the money, which would pay for more hospital beds and research space.
  6. Ashlynn NesSmith, 16, with her mother, Erin NesSmith, at Thursday's news conference in Tampa about the dangers of vaping. MARLENE SOKOL  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The legislation discussed in Tampa is ‘aimed at saving lives and addressing the current vaping health crisis.’
  7. FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, a liquid nicotine solution is poured into a vaping device at a store in New York. In September 2019, U.S. health officials are investigating what might be causing hundreds of serious breathing illnesses in people who use e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. They have identified about 450 possible cases in 33 states, including six deaths. FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP
    U.S. health officials have identified about 450 possible cases in 33 states, including six deaths.
  8. The owners of Centurion Compounding of Wesley Chapel have pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to commit health care fraud with the owners of the now-closed Lifecare Pharmacy in St. Petersburg (shown here) and Dr. Anthony Baldizzi of Tierra Verde. Google street view
    Centurion Compounding owners Frank Monte and Kimberly Anderson used profits from the conspiracy to buy real estate and high-end sports cars.
  9. A rendering of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Health Institute, which is expected to open in January. School officials said Tuesday the project will cost an additional $16 million. [Courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
    School trustees asked for a breakdown of expenses before approving the increase.
  10. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister speaks Tuesday at a kickoff in Tampa for a campaign to encourage first responders to seek help if contemplating suicide. Charlie Frago
    Tampa advertising firm ChappellRoberts will partner with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay to encourage police officers, deputies and firefighters to seek anonymous help if they need it.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement