Virtual Tour of Portland’s Shriners Hospital for Children
Noble John Smith
Many charitable Nobles have not visited the
Portland Shriners Hospital. So, for them, this is
the first article in a virtual floor-by-floor tour of
that house made by Shriners to care for children
in need of a better life.
As you drive up Sam Jackson Park Rd. toward
what is known as “pill hill,” the very first hospital
you see is Shriners, designated by the “Editorial
Without Words” statue at the entrance of the lower
parking lots. As you first park in the cold, quiet
den of the parking lot, your tour begins as you
sanitize your hands (by germ free lotion- meant
to protect patients from infections) and enter the
open elevator. It silently awaits your command
which you give by depressing “1” – which takes
you to the main floor.
The Reception Desk and Margaret welcome you
to the building [upper photo, opposite page].
She will direct you to either the Registration/
Scheduling/Appointment area (lobby) or to the
visitor sign-in table. Noticeable on the lobby
wall are the past cornerstones of our hospital,
including the original at NE Sandy Blvd in 1921,
completed in 1924.
The hospital moved to its current location in 1983
to assure the ongoing relationship with Oregon
Health Sciences University for purposes of
teaching orthopedic surgery to new doctors, and
doing collaborative research. A remodel added
66,000 sq. feet in May 2011.
In the waiting room [lower photo, opposite
page], you see patients and families awaiting
appointments and children being entertained
by the “wire ball-fall” mechanical sculpture, or
reading, playing video games, talking on cell
phones or notice the Family Resource Library
with Internet computer for parents to use.
The history of the Hospital is supremely recapped
across the main hall from the library in the small
Memorabilia Center, (which features a fez from
all supporting temples in the Pacific Northwest).
You may watch a historical slide show, or view the
past crowns of our sister partners, Daughters of the
Nile or Ladies Oriental Shrine, or notice the large
collection of past Potentate’s pins in a display case.
As you proceed south notice the donor wall which
prominently displays the names and amounts
of donations to the hospital. Here and about the
hospital donor names are memorialized on the
donor wall, rooms, waiting areas and in the Book of
Gold on the 7th floor.
Our tour continues down the hall and discovers a
myriad of offices.
(During your tour if you need - every floor has those
public “powder rooms.” You find this floor’s in the
main hall clearly marked above the door. Thus I
have answered one of the most FAQs).
The Outpatient Clinic is next. Annually we have
about 11,000 patient visits. Of those we treat nearly
6,000 kids – a majority of which are outpatients.
Next you arrive at the Noble George Ruberg lobby
– the waiting room for outpatients and radiology.
This area is memorialized for George, a long time
hospital guide and hospital supporter financially in
Traditional X-rays are becoming history – and
now are going digital, being replaced by the faster,
better, safer EOS (from Greek mythology meaning
“new dawn”) X-ray machine, the first of its kind in
any Shriner’s hospital in the United States. Child
patients grow, so most have multiple radiological
exams until reaching 18. Multiple doses of radiation
may be harmful over years of on-going exams. The
EOS machine is much safer, reducing radiation to
8-9% of a usual X-ray dose.
Now, a clearer full-body scan can be taken in
about 20 seconds, entered into a computer and
reproduced in 3D for surgical staff to study, from
all angles, when planning surgery. Such ability
also improves diagnostics of scoliosis and other
The EOS machine was purchased three years ago
entirely through donations from the public and from
Shrine Clubs. Oregon Rainbow Girls are raising
funds this year to purchase new EOS software
which will further reduce the exposure to patients
to only 1% or less.
Back at the front lobby, as your tour continues,
Margaret may direct you to the visitor’s desk,
where you sign-in. From there one of two elevators
will take you to floors 2-4 only and the other to
floors 2-4 and 7.
That completes our virtual tour of floor 1. Next
month: floor 2 (a nutritious stop)!
For More Information, please contact:
Shriners Hospital for Children – Portland - website
Director of Community Affairs and Development
Shriners Hospitals for Children - Portland
3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland, OR 97239