Northern California Shriners Hospital Honors Longtime Benefactor

A new sign in the waiting room of the occupational and physical therapy gym at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California honors a longtime benefactor and champion of children. The Martha Ludwig Center for Pediatric Occupational Therapy is named for R. Martha Ludwig, a longtime Sacramento area resident and self-made professional woman who made a $7.3 million bequest to the hospital. In her will, Ms. Ludwig asked that the money be used for “occupational therapy so that every child able to use his hands be able to do something useful with them.”

Ms. Ludwig worked as an architect, pharmacist and entrepreneur. She was the first woman architect to open a private practice in Sacramento. Although she did not have children of her own, she was inspired by the potential of children everywhere. She died at age 88 in 2012.

“It is both inspiring and astonishing to think that the work and generosity of one woman can make such a positive impact on the lives of so many,” says Margaret Bryan, Administrator and CEO at the Northern California Shriners Hospital in Sacramento. “Ms. Ludwig’s gift is an investment in the potential of all children, and it supports the hospital in its mission to give children comprehensive care that allows them to develop skills and abilities they need to become productive adults,” Bryan adds.

During her lifetime, Ms. Ludwig donated more than $169,000 to the Northern California Shriners Hospital. Her contributions included underwriting for the 2012 documentary film Where Dreams Come True. Ms. Ludwig had a family connection to Shriners through her father who was a member of the Masons. Both Ms. Ludwig and her mother were members of The Order of the Eastern Star, a charitable woman’s organization associated with the Masons.

“When Martha came to me for estate planning in August of 2003, she brought with her an article that was published in the Sacramento Bee on July 5, 2003,” said Lynn Dean, Ms. Ludwig’s attorney and trustee. “She was very concerned about care for children and was particularly impressed with the mission of Shriners Hospital,” Dean added.

With the exception of her Model T. Ford that she restored with her own hands, Ms. Ludwig bequeathed her entire estate to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Children with orthopaedic problems, limb deficiencies, burns, spinal cord injuries and other developmental physical challenges benefit from the occupational therapy program at Shriners Hospital. The team of therapists is devoted to helping children gain skills they need to accomplish daily activities, from brushing their teeth and dressing to writing with a pen and throwing a ball. When necessary, the therapy team works with the hospital’s orthotics and prosthetics team to ensure children have adaptive equipment needed to achieve independence. The Shriners occupational therapy team treats hospitalized children as well as patients who require intensive and highly specialized therapy.

At Shriners Hospitals for Children, each patient’s path to success is fueled by private donations and driven by excellence in treatment, teaching and research. All care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. A leader in pediatric orthopaedics, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 50 pediatric orthopaedic programs in conjunction with the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. The Northern California Shriners Hospital also is distinguished as the region’s most active and most noted pediatric burn center.

Martha Ludwig New Sign







Shriners Hospitals for Children is devoted to transforming the lives of children through excellence in treatment, teaching and research. Located at 2425 Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California provides care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip, scars from any cause and other complex surgical needs. There are no barriers to care as admission is based on age and diagnosis.   Care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For further information call (916) 453-2000 or go online to

Media Contact: Catherine Curran | Public Relations (916) 453-2218 |

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