Shriners Reopens Today

Another institution in Galveston is getting back on its feet after Hurricane Ike. Shriners Hospital for Children will offcially re-open today, more than a year after flooding forced the Shriners to send kids to other burn units. David Pitman has the story.

Hurricane Ike flooded the basement of Shriner's Hospital, knocking out key electrical, climate control, and information systems.   The damage amounted to more than a million dollars, much of which the Shriners have had to pay for on their own.  Jim Denson is the chair of the Board of Governors for the Galveston hospital.

"We are currently attempting to file an application with FEMA where FEMA would pay for a portion of corrective work to mitigate any future damages should this occur again."

Denson says the re-opening of the Shriners Hospital helps Galveston in two important ways — one, it will provide up to 200 new jobs by the end of the year...and two, it will once again make available up to 30 beds for young victims of critical burns whose families can't afford treatment elsewhere.

"While we were down, it created a real hardship, unfortuneately, on a number of children that would have otherwise been our patients.  And that those kids from our area that need our services will be able to take advantage of those services."

Starting Wednesday, the Shriners Hospital in Galveston will resume seeing patients who need ongoing reconstructive care from past burns.  The hospital hopes to be able to start treating acute burn patients by the middle of next month.

David Pitman, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of David Pitman

David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...