Our speaker, Aaron Hanson, is the Director of Development for Shriners Hospital. He pointed out that the Shriners currently are constructing a 75,000 square foot Medical Center in Pasadena. The facility is scheduled for an April 13, 2017 dedication and will be opened in May 2017. Shriners owns and operates twenty-two hospitals in North America and specializes in the treatment of children for ailments such as scoliosis, burn scars, cleft palate, club foot, micro vascular surgery and even brittle bone disease. They do this all at no charge to their patients. Since their patients are typically at or under the poverty line, the surgeries they perform are truly “heaven sent”. Most all of their patients would never be able to afford these types of corrective surgeries and the rehabilitation to go with it if it weren’t for the generosity of the Shriners organization. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, the hospitals, known as “The World’s Greatest Philanthropy”, are built by Shriners International, a Freemasonry-related organization whose members are known as Shriners. The first hospital in the system was opened in 1922 in Shreveport, Louisiana, it provided pediatric orthopedic care. In 1952 the downtown Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles was opened. With the current earthquake retrofit requirements in Los Angeles to existing older buildings, the Shriners decided to sell their L.A. location and invest the funds in Pasadena where they are developing their state of the art Shriners for Children Medical Center just south of Huntington Hospital.
At the new Pasadena location, the Shriners have collaborated with Huntington Memorial Hospital. When one of their patients has a scheduled surgery, Shriners doctors and nurses use the surgical suites at the Huntington Hospital while all pre and post op care is done at the Shriners for Children Medical Center. Equipment such as prosthetics, orthotics, braces, etc., are measured and fitted at the Shriners facility where therapy is performed. In fact, they use a 3-D design system that can print out a blue print of a certain prosthetic or orthotic specific to the support of the patient’s ailment. This is a fascinating time to see the latest and greatest medical care in our lifetime. Many thanks to Aaron Hanson for sharing the great things the Shriners do for humanity.