Lions Burn Center

Providing Immediate Care for Burn Victims

People who suffer major burns need immediate, specialized and often long-term treatment. Helping patients recover from burns is very different from treating other types of hospital patients. In addition to topnotch and caring doctors, nurses, therapists and other professionals, they need special facilities and state-of-the-art equipment. Until 1968 burn patients in Nevada and some areas of California, Utah and Arizona often had to be transported long distances for such care.

The Lions Step In

Nevada Lions teamed up with the University Medical Center in Las Vegas to create the Lions Burn Care Center. Over the last 40 years, thousands of people have been treated at the Center. But by 2001 the Center needed more space, new equipment and twice as many beds. So Lions secured a grant of US$75,000 from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and launched a campaign to raise matching funds. Ultimately the Lions raised more than $300,000 to expand the facility and purchase the latest equipment for the center – and a new gymnasium where patients can receive physical and occupational therapy.

Everyone Wins

The Lions Burn Care Center provides patients and families with physical, emotional and educational services. The Lions name on the center and on the new medical center tower reminds everyone of the great contribution Lions have made to their community. “The money Lions raised, the work they do really goes to important causes,” says Oscar Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas and a member of the Nevada Council of the Blind Lions Club. “Can you imagine saving somebody who is burned? It gets no better than that.”


Many Lions clubs worked together with LCIF and the University of Nevada Medical Center to raise necessary funds. The Lions Burn Care Center also works with schools and other groups in the Las Vegas area to educate children and adults about fire safety.

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Tips and Tools

Make It Happen: How to conduct a major project that benefits people in three states

Why did Lions decide on this project? »
Without a local high-quality burn center in Nevada, patients had to be taken to California or other distant hospitals for treatment.
Where did you start? »
We talked to all the area clubs and decided that we would undertake this project together.
Have any further relationships developed between the Lions and this community? »
We have worked closely for decades with the University Medical Center of Nevada. We have also built many close and important relationships with community groups through this project.
How did you fund the project? »
We have held countless fundraisers including an annual Chinese New Year Dinner Dance and Gala. We also secured major funding from LCIF.
How long did it take? »
This has been a priority project for more than 40 years. Once we committed to raising the funds for the renovation, it took us about seven years.
Any special words of advice? »
Determine what your community needs most and how Lions, working together, can fill that need. Don’t be afraid to think big. Lions can accomplish anything when they put their minds to it.

"I was stuck in the middle of this ball of fire and the next thing I knew flames were inside my cab."

Joe Garcia,
UMC Lions Burn Care Center Patient

"Occupational and physical therapy is critical. As your body heals, it heals by contracting. We have to make sure the skin gets moved all the time."

Richard Smith,
Occupational Therapist

"Burn patients may be looking at several months in the hospital, outpatient therapy for weeks or months and return visits for months or years."

Terry Lewis, MD,
Director, UMC Lions Burn Care Center

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