By Tim Leeds
Doctors from the Shriner's Hospitals for Children were in Havre Saturday to visit children here.
Doctors from the free hospitals came to Havre for a post-visit screening to see how the treatments children from the area have received from the hospitals are working.
Last year the NCMSC (North Central Montana Shrine Club) provided transportation for 33 area children to the Spokane Shriners Hospital, the closest of the charitable hospitals to the Havre area.
The first Shriners Hospital for Children opened in Shreveport, La., in 1922 to provide orthopedic care to children. The hospitals, the official philanthropy of The Shriners, provide free treatment to children sponsored by the Shriners and have now grown to 22 hospitals, 20 in the United States, one in Mexico and one in Canada.
The organization decided in 1962 to establish specialized pediatric burn hospitals, and there are now three Shriners Hospitals dedicated to this treatment. In 1997, the Northern California Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., was opened, the first to encompass all three disciplines of orthopedic care, burn treatment and spinal cord injuries, as well as research.
There are two other Shriners Hospitals which also deal with spinal injuries. Since the first hospital opened in 1922, the hospitals have provided free care to nearly 650,000 children, with about $5.1 billion spent operating the hospitals and nearly $1.1 billion on construction and renovation. The 2001 overall budget for all hospitals totals $567 million.
The Shriners invite anyone who knows of a child needing orthopedic, burn or spinal cord injury care to notify a member of NCMSC or call toll free, 1-800-237-5055.
On the 'net: The Shrine of North America and Shriners Hospitals: http://www.shriners.com