Shriners Bring Medical Help For Local Kids

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
Anyone who has attended Warsaw Jubilee Days has seen the Shriners from Warsaw, Sedalia and even Kansas City, as they entertain the crowds in their little cars wearing funny hats. However, some people may not know that the Shriners are also responsible for establishing hospitals to care for children.  The Shriners are now coming to Warsaw to seek children in need of care.
Any child in need of the care of a pediatric orthopedic specialist can be referred by attending the free screening clinic to be held on Saturday, April 7 from 9 AM until 12 PM at the Benton County Health Department.
The Warsaw Shrine Club is sponsoring this clinic for children with bone, muscle or joint problems.  Dr. Amber Campbell of Golden Valley Clinic will be on hand to examine the children to be referred to one of the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.
Signs that a child could benefit from attending the screening include:  in-toeing, toe-walking, flat feet, bowed legs or knocked knees, sore, painful or stiff joints, limb deficiency, limb length discrepancy, curved spine indicating possible scoliosis or club feet.
Shriners International is a worldwide organization fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth.  There are nearly 200 temples located throughout the world.  The first Shriner’s temple was established in New York City in 1872. 
The first Shriner’s hospital was opened in 1922 in Shreveport, Louisiana.  The hospital initially focused exclusively on treating the orthopedic aftereffects of the polio virus which was rampant at that time.
The Shriner’s Hospital for Children is a health care system which has 22 locations in three countries dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, conducting innovative research and offering outstanding education programs for medical professionals.  All care and services are provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay.
Children up to age 18 are eligible for care at Shriner’s Hospitals for Children if there is a reasonable possibility they can benefit from the specialized services available.  Acceptance is based solely on a child’s medical needs.
Shriner’s Hospitals for children emphasizes compassion and a family centered environment.  The medical experts provide individualized care plans, take the time to listen and focus on the concerns, needs and goals of the patients.
At a special meeting on Friday at Warsaw R-9 School District, local Shriner Chuck Allcorn introduced Board of Governors member Wayne Spencer who spoke to a group of educators about the services of the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.
“Our purpose is to reach out to children in need of our services,” Spencer said.  “Our theme ‘Love to the Rescue’, emphasizes that we will do anything we can to get the medical attention a child needs.  The Warsaw Shrine Club has helped us just recently with the donation of two vans to take children and their parents to our hospital in St. Louis.”
Spencer went on to say  the cost to operate the Shriner’s Hospitals is $26 a second and that these hospitals have cared for 1.3 million children since the first hospital opened.
“We are seeing 36,000 new patients a year,” Spencer said.
U. S. News and World Report recently named the Shriner’s Hospital in St. Louis as one of the top children’s hospitals in the United States.
Shriners Hospitals for Children are changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education.
The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children opened its first location specializing in burn care in the mid-1960s.  These hospitals have been leaders in burn care, research and education.  Because of the excellent, innovative treatments provided at these hospitals, children have a great chance of surviving all types of burn injuries.  Hospitals offering burn care are located in Boston; Cincinnati; Galveston and Sacramento, California.
Shriner’s Hospitals for Children is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors.  All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.
For more information about the free screening clinic in Warsaw call 660-287-3302.
For more information about Shriner’s Hospitals for Children call 314-432-3600.