Shriner's Burn Patients Could Come to Houston

The future of the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston is a main topic as Shriners gather in San Antonio for their annual convention. Rod Rice reports that the Galveston decision could affect the Houston Shriners Hospital.

The Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston specializes in orthopedic care, but Administrator Steve Reiter says if Galveston is closed Houston could begin to accept burn patients.

"I believe it's an option the national board might be considering at some point in time."

He says earlier this year Houston did begin to accept a few types of burn patients, but not acute burn patients.  Reiter says if burn care was moved to Houston some changes would have to be made here.

"We are right now space limited.  As part of the decision process would have to be what we need to do to reconfigure ourselves to take care of a burn population on a permanent basis."

Shriner's hospitals have always been free since the first one was established 87 years ago. However, Shriner's says their donations are down, their costs are up and their endowments are shrinking, forcing them to consider closing not only the children's hospital in Galveston, but five others around the country.  The Galveston burn hospital has not reopened since being damaged be hurricane Ike.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...