Cincinnati Shriners Hospital, celebrating its 40th anniversary, has established an international reputation for pediatric burn care. Saving the life of a child whose lungs and organs are damaged from smoke inhalation, repairing and reconstructing tissue that’s severely scarred by fire, giving psychological support to victims and families — these are just part of the demanding challenges facing the Shriners’ staff and volunteers daily.

Beyond that loving care, Shriners also is a teaching hospital and research facility. Thousands of doctors and other medical professionals have learned techniques to take back to their communities, and studies at Shriners have helped improved the medical science for burn care.

This year, the hospital won an Innovative Solutions Award from the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, recognizing a Shriners project to improve the evaluation of pain in patients who are non-verbal. “A significant percent of our patient population is too young or too ill to verbally communicate their pain experience,” explains Marla Barone, RN, a nurse manager and team leader for the project.

The Shriners team created an Observational Pain Assessment Scale (OPAS), which proved to reliably assess pain levels based on behavior such as facial expressions and muscle tension.