Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital – Access to Extraordinary Care

One of the fundholders at YouthBridge Community Foundation of Greater St. Louis delights in supporting organizations that provide health-related services to children. Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, with its “Care Beyond the Bedside” model of care, has been a natural fit for partnership. In honor of the 2024 World Health Day theme, “My health, my right,” we highlight what access to quality care looks like for children in our region.

From its beginning in 1941, founder Mary Ranken Jordan envisioned an environment for children using playtime and movement as the foundation. Walking into the hospital today, a visitor will immediately realize that Ranken Jordan is different. In fact, every inch was designed with “play” in mind. Compared to traditional hospital environments, patients are rarely in their rooms. They may be in the music room, swimming, making pizzas in the kids’ kitchen, playing a video game, or hitting a home run on the baseball field. Each activity is a form of therapy for the child’s specific needs.

Grants from the YouthBridge fundholder, totaling over $100,000 since 2019, have made a significant impact on Ranken Jordan’s patient population recovering from non-accidental trauma (NAT). NAT patients are those who have experienced trauma due to abuse, neglect, or violence. These children are often medically and psychologically fragile, and in many cases, the injuries are lifelong. They account for approximately 10% of Ranken Jordan’s annual inpatient admissions. Far from seeing them as hopeless cases, Ranken Jordan works toward improvement, if not recovery, by developing a comprehensive, individualized plan of care for each child.

Ranken Jordan uses a trauma-informed lens with their approach to care and treatment. In addition to medical doctors, the patient’s team generally includes nurses, respiratory therapists, recreation therapists, physical therapists, child psychologists, and child life specialists. Child psychologists and child life specialists work closely with other Ranken Jordan team members to help children cope with their injuries, hospitalization, medical procedures, and pain, and just as importantly, to deal with the trauma and stress of their situation. According to Shawn Dryden, President & CEO of Ranken Jordan, “These specialists are extremely sensitive and empathize with their patients’ incredibly challenging situations. They are a key component of our model and work tirelessly to ensure that all experiences in our care are as positive as they can be.”

Shawn explained that Ranken Jordan’s goal is to help each child and family transition home from the hospital. A successful transition includes various types of training for caregivers and may also involve modification of the home environment. In some unfortunate circumstances children cannot be released to return to their home. Despite being medically ready for discharge, these patients remain at Ranken Jordan until a safe place is prepared. Grants from the YouthBridge fundholder, combined with other donations and grants, serve a vital role in funding many of the programs provided by Ranken Jordan that are not covered by insurance but are critical to the patient’s physical and emotional recovery.

YouthBridge is proud to help its fundholder achieve their philanthropic goals with an impactful connection to Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital. The hospital’s innovative approach to children’s healthcare is inspiring and worthy of highlighting, especially in honor of World Health Day.


YouthBridge connects donors with community needs. If you are interested in learning more about how we can make charitable giving easier for you, please contact Michele Mosley.