patient, Robbie, on the playground.

Sep 22, 2022 / General News

Letter from the President: Part of the Family

This update from President/CEO Robert L. Walker was previously published in Rite Up, 2022 – Issue 2. 

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting Robbie, a patient from Roanoke, and his mother, Shilo. Robbie was born with arthrogryposis, a condition that affects the movement of his joints. Doctors told Shilo that Robbie may never be able to walk. However, because of his hard work, determination and the care he receives at Scottish Rite for Children, Robbie can walk. He can jump, play and even dance.

Robbie’s mom told me that receiving care from so many different areas of Scottish Rite made them feel like they were part of the family. We often hear our patients and their families call Scottish Rite a second home. Family is precious. We do everything possible to protect our families and keep them safe and healthy in body, mind and spirit. This ideal extends to the Scottish Rite for Children staff, volunteers and supporters.

While health and safety have always been our top priorities, the pandemic has highlighted the need to reevaluate our safety protocols and procedures. The staff have, as a team, developed guidelines to ensure a safe medical and work environment. Even as conditions improve, we have seen that the repercussions of COVID-19 go far beyond physical health. We must consider the need to care for the whole person. We now have a better understanding of the importance of addressing behavioral and mental health issues as well as workforce challenges.

We are aware of the stress, worry and fear caused by the pandemic and world events that seem to be spiraling out of control. We must remain sensitive and focused as we respond with wisdom and vision to the challenges and opportunities ahead. Our mission remains the same — we will continue to provide exceptional care for our patients and their families and an outstanding workplace for our staff and volunteers.

As we look to the future, we can appreciate how fortunate we are to have had a century of tremendous outcomes for our patients. From the polio years to the pandemic years, Scottish Rite for Children was, is and will continue to be extraordinary.

Thank you for making Scottish Rite for Children a beacon of hope and healing — an extended family, where everyone can feel protected, safe and loved.

Read the full issue.

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