For more information, see:
Orthopaedic and Burn Care
As one Shriner put it, "We can't put a price on what we do for these children so we do it for free!"
For those living in Mexico, the US or Canadian, these hospitals are pretty well known. What is not always known is that all Shriners are Masons! There are 22 hospitals throughout the United States: three for treatment of burns and 19 which address crippled children's medical problems.
The first Shriners Hospital opened in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1922 and the first Burns Institute opened in Galveston, Texas in 1966. To date, the Shriners have spent over $3 billion dollars on hospital operating costs and over $7 million on construction and renovation.
Funds for this essential work come from gifts, bequests, income from the endowment fund, hospital fund-raising events, and the annual hospital assessment paid by every Shriner (of which there are approximately 600,000). If the children are covered by insurance, the Shrine Hospitals now collect those funds but they do NOT bill parents/guardians for care.
In their zeal to collect money for the Shrine Hospitals, some Shrine local groups during the 1980's did not clearly identify when a fund-raiser was for local use versus the fund raising being done for the hospitals directly. When it was realized that some confusion existed in the public's mind, a policy was immediately put into place to ensure that the public is never mislead relative to Shrine fundraising events.
If you'd like to find out more about the Shriners Hospitals, you can also go to the Shrine Hospitals web site and if you'd like to read some really heart-warming patient success stories, they've got some right here.
Football fans also know of the Shrine Hospitals through the Annual East-West Shrine Football Classic and Pageant which was begun in 1925. During the past ten years, the game has drawn an average of 70,000 fans, by far the largest attendance of any college all-star game. Over the years, "Football's Finest Hour" has raised more than $14 million dollars to provide quality medical care free of charge to children of every race and religion.
In addition, throughout the United States, there are hundreds of high school post-season football games also played for the benefit of the Shrine Hospitals. For many graduating seniors, it is their last competitive football game but the one they'll remember with the fondest memories, despite the other accolades they may have received while playing. An essential part of game preparation is a trip to a local Shrine Children's Hospital so that these athletes will see the children they're helping.
The motto of all Shrine football games is:
"Strong Legs Run That Weak Legs May Walk."
CONTACTING SHRINERS HOSPITALS
If you know of a child who might benefit from care at a Shrine Burns or Crippled Children's facility, contact ANY Shriner or call one of our toll-free patient referral lines between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. In the United States: 1-800-237-5055. In Canada: 1-800-361-7256.
For emergency burn admissions to one of the Shriners Hospitals that treat burns, the referring physician should telephone the chief of staff at the Shriners Hospital in Boston, Cincinnati, Galveston, Tex., or Sacramento, California and indicate the patient needs emergency care. Emergency care is not available at the orthopaedic hospitals. Non-emergency admissions of burn patients for reconstructive or plastic surgery can be arranged in the same manner as orthopaedic admissions at the nearest Shriners Hospital for Children.