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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shriner's Update

WYFF News 4 has learned that the Shriners Board of Trustees has identified five Shriners hospitals nationwide that could cease operation, in addition to not reopening one that was already shut down after Hurricane Ike.

The Greenville Shriners Hospital is one of the five facilities facing closure.

A final decision will be made the week of July 4 when the Shriners meet for their annual meeting.

Two-thirds of the Shriners at the meeting would have to approve the closure of any hospital.

Rodney Brown, the chairman of the board of Greenville Shriners Hospital, said the decision by the trustees to put Greenville on the closure short list doesn't make sense.

The number of procedures and surgeries at Greenville Shriners Hospital are all up, Brown said.

"We're no where near the bottom of the system," Brown said, comparing Greenville to other Shriners hospitals.

Brown also said Greenville is one of the only Shriners locations in the Southeast, taking in kids from Alabama to Virginia.

"Where will those kids go?" Brown said.

The other Shriners hospitals faced with possible closure include Shreveport, La.; Erie, Penn.; Spokane, Wash. and Springfield, Mass.

The hospital in Galveston, Texas was closed after it was damaged by Hurricane Ike and the trustees will also formally vote on not reopening it.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children were founded in 1922 to improve the lives of children through specialty pediatric care.