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Friday, April 3, 2009

Save Springfield Shriners Petition

There is a petition at the end of this..... you can print it out and mail it in.... if you can send a donation.....every dollar will help.....make sure to tell them its for Springfield!!! You can also email it to (the person who I believe started the petition) I know a lot of you think a petition will do nothing but our voices are their best shot at staying open. The more people that fight, the less likely they will close our hospital down.

Shriners International Headquarters
2900 Rocky Point Dr. Tampa, FL 33607

Shriners Hospitals for Children
516 Carew St. Springfield, MA 01104-2396

Western Mass. supporters rallying around Shriners Hospital in Springfield
by The Republican Newsroom
Monday March 30, 2009, 8:00 PM

SPRINGFIELD - Supporters of the Shriners Hospital for Children are vowing to rally around the Carew Street hospital and redouble fund-raising efforts amid news the facility is eyed for possible closure.

"This is our hospital; those are our children," said Gary Block of Longmeadow. "I'm going to do my damnedest to keep my hospital open."

Block is president of the Melha Riders Motorcycle Club, the largest motorcycle club in the country dedicated to raising money for Shriners programs. It's annual biker run last year raised $25,000 for the Carew Street hospital.

Block, a member of the Melha Shrine Temple, said he has been aware of the hospital network's financial problems for some time. The recent announcement was an eye opener for a lot of others who have worked to raise money for Shriners programs.

Ralph Semb, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Shriners Hospitals for Children, announced Friday that on-going financial problems with the Shriners system has the Board of Trustees considering shutting six of its 22 hospitals, including the hospital here.

Semb said the hospital network, which relies on donations and income from an endowment fund, is losing about $1 million per day.

No decision has been made, and closures are just one option to be considered at the board's next meeting in July, he said.

Bernadette White, spokeswoman for the Carew Street facility, said reactions have overall been very supportive.

"A lot of people are coming through the front door or giving us a call," she said Monday. "They want to support us. It's nice to know the community supports us."

In particular, parents of children receiving medical treatment have been called to express concern, she said. But most have been quick to ask what they can do to help.

She emphasized no final decision about closing has been made. It is one of several options under consideration, and maybe other options will materialized before July, she said.

A spokesman for the Shiners International Headquarters in Tampa, Fla., could not be reached for comment.

Ariel E. Miller, 18, of Longmeadow, also said it would be sad to see the Carew Street hospital closed.

Miller, a senior at Longmeadow High School is a member of the school community service program, Interact.

Its upcoming show Longmeadow Idol will this year, as it has for the past five years, raise money for Shriners programs.

Each year the show, planned this year for April 15, raised about $2,000. She said she is hoping this year to top that.

"We're trying to do everything we can," she said. "It would really, really be a shame if they close the hospital."

Block said the Shriners have not been exempt from the recession that has gripped the country.

He said he is hopeful alternatives to closing can be found, and thinks people who give to the Shriners may now see an urge to give more.

"If anything people should say 'That's our hospital.' People should rally to support it," he said. "Maybe some good will come out of something bad."

Posted by hmtzcronin16 on 03/30/09 at 10:57PM

Hello! For all of you who are interested, below there is a petition/letter to help save Shriners. My husband and I have a son who had a severe form of Bacterial Meningitis when he was two years old. He has received his first pair of prosthetic legs from Shriners and all the rest that have followed since he was three years old(he is now 12!). We are fortunate (so far)to have health insurance yet, the quality of care and exceptional employees at Shriners are reasons we have not ever looked elsewhere. We hope that Shriners can find a way to utilize the insurance that patients do have. However, until then, we ask that you please help the community advocate that everything is done to preserve this pillar of hope for so many!
If you are interested, please copy and past this letter below(also add anything else you would like-and your name /email) and I will print the letters to give to the Board when they meet again in two months.If you have any questions/thoughts or other ideas please feel free to call *** *** **** or email @ Thank You so much!

To: The Board of Trustees for the Shriners Hospital and Ralph Semb, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Shriners Hospitals.


This hospital has been providing needed care and is an asset to our community. The Shriners Hospital in Springfield, founded in 1925, is one of nineteen in the Shriners network that specialize in pediatric specialty care and orthopedics. Closing this hospital cannot be an option! Shriners has not only saved lives but has immensely improved the QUALITY and Mobility of life for others. Now, in particular, it is important to advocate and support the services that Shriners provides for thousands and thousands of children each year. Many people have lost their jobs and are unemployed. along with this comes loss of insurance,transportation and adequate healthcare services. Should Shriners close, familes and surrounding communities will falter even more.
Without insurance,they will likely have to go without care. With soaring unemployment rates, high gas prices and limited means of transportation to drive to a hospital that would be hundreds of miles away, many patients will go without this care. The type of care that will be lost is not just basic annual check ups, it is a vast range of care. For example, a young boy wearing prosthetic legs is likely to grow so quickly that he requires a new pair of prosthetic legs to be made once every six months! Without this, skin infections occur from improperly fitted prosthesis and eventual severely challenged ability/mobility from having no legs to wear at all! The quality and dignity of life that is affected for the patients of Shriners Hospital is a physical and emotional one -a basic need that we all have a right to have met,not compromised.
This is a time in which a hospital like Shriners is even more of a saving grace!Look at how the community is rallying together for a great cause. We will all be willing to help in any way necessary to put the word out there for what we can do and yes, we can do it together! This petition is to NOT close Shriners Hospital in Springfield, MA!
Thank You for your time and consideration!


Name of resident/date/

City of residence and email