Mayo Clinic hasannounced that Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities will join the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Shriners, the first pediatric hospital to join the network, provides specialized pediatric orthopedic care in a seven-state region, and it's part of a network of children's hospitals across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The Care Network is made up of health organizations affiliated with Mayo but not owned by it. They commit to upholding the Mayo philosophies of patient care, but they continue to operate as separate entities and take advantage of eConsults with Mayo experts, Mayo best-practice protocols and the AskMayoExpert database — a system that allows rapid access of questions about complex patient care. They also provide patient referrals to Mayo Clinic.

"The relationship between Shriners and the Mayo Clinic Children's Center has been a long-standing and rewarding one, and by formalizing our collaboration, we'll be able to work even more closely together to enhance the care we provide children," said Dr. David Hayes, Care Network medical director.

"Both organizations are recognized leaders in their fields. The challenges of medicine in this modern age demand that we seek and share knowledge in a way that has value to the patient," Douglas Maxwell, president of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The Care Network has members in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Puerto Rico.

Shriners adds pediatric care to a mix in the care network that already includes most major specialties.

"Both Mayo Clinic and Shriners have a heart for kids, and we're excited to know that this new collaborative step together will increasingly benefit our young patients," said Dr. Christopher Moir, director of the Mayo Children's Center.

According to Mayo, the Children's Center includes more than 200 pediatricians and surgical sub-specialists from more than 40 medical and surgical specialties.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has 22 facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico providing advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

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