140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Know this is not Western it is Mid-West, But it is good

A "virtual tour" of the St. Louis Hospital, hosted by three of our most enthusiastic and talented patients, is now featured on our hospital's website! The patients featured in this video are speaking with words of their own choosing, from their own experiences in “"the hospital they love." They did not memorize a script, which I think makes it even more special and heartwarming to watch. I promise you, you'll be proud of these kids!

This video is intended to be a reassuring, informational piece for those who are interested in bringing their children to hospital. If you are recruiting patients to Shriners Hospital - St. Louis, please be sure to direct families to our website to view it. We will soon have another, more comprehensive, video about the our hospital and the Shrine system which will target folks like donors, physicians, and others.

Congratulations to our patients, Jessica, Madison and Cecil for being such excellent spokespersons!


Also Check out this Yahoo page: http://local.yahoo.com/info-17705255-shriners-hospital-for-children-st-louis
Tammy M. Robbins, Director of Public and Community Relations Shriners Hospitals for Children - St. Louis

Fargo Shrine Circus Postponed to April 17-18-19,2009

El Zagal March 28th with dike in place. River at 40.8 feet.

Hopefully the Red River has crested in Fargo and we just need to continue to monitor our dike. The National Guard and City of Fargo has setup a command center at our Shine Center. Recorder Ken Maxson has done a great job of coordinating actives at the Shrine Center with the help of local Nobles and their Ladies to secure the building and feeding the National Guard and volunteers. We still need Nobles and their Ladies to volunteer to help at the Temple to man it over night and feed the Guard. We are cooking hot meals for the Guard and volunteers. As of Tuesday morning at 3:15 AM the river is at 38.39.
The Mayor this morning said the city will relax after the river goes below 38 feet and is still declining. Which is forecast for Thursday and by then the coming blizzard should be over.

Illustrious Sir Jay Buringrud and the El Zagal Divan thanks all the Nobles and their Ladies, the National Guard and the volunteers for helping during the flood in Fargo.

National Weather Service Flood forecast for Red River in Fargo

Fargo Flood Part 1 on YouTube

Amerinet Renews Partnership With Shriners Hospitals for Children

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amerinet, a leading national healthcare group purchasing organization (GPO), recently announced the renewal of its agreement with Shriners Hospitals for Children.

“Shriners Hospitals for Children continues our long-standing partnership with Amerinet to achieve value and cost savings for our hospitals,” said Mark Williams, the organization’s director of supply chain management. “Our goals with this renewal are to intensify our focus to enterprise total spend management visibility and efficiencies.”

An Amerinet member since 2001, the Shriners Hospitals for Children healthcare system utilizes Amerinet’s national portfolio of contracts and Total Spend Management business intelligence solutions to help manage its members’ combined annual spend. The Shriners Hospitals for Children system represents several facilities throughout the United States.

Specific benefits available to Shriners Hospitals for Children include contracts specially negotiated for system members, discounted pricing for all facility types, enhanced tier discounts for aggregated volume and customized educational solutions, through Amerinet’s educational division, Inquisit.

“We appreciate Shriners Hospitals for Children’s continued confidence in our relationship,” said RJ McNaughton, Amerinet’s executive vice president of sales. “We look forward to helping enhance the strength of this nationwide system through identifying and implementing clinical and financial solutions to address the needs of system members.”

About Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners Hospitals for Children is an international healthcare system dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive all care in a family-centered environment, with no financial obligation to patients or their families. For more information, please visit www.shrinershospitals.org.

About Amerinet

As a leading national group purchasing organization, Amerinet strategically partners with healthcare providers to reduce costs and improve quality. Through its Total Spend Management solutions and operational performance improvement programs, tools and services, Amerinet assists members in their efforts to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and create new revenue streams. Supported by a team of clinical, data and supply chain experts, Amerinet offers a comprehensive portfolio of product and service contracts to address members’ specific needs. Amerinet serves acute and alternate care site healthcare providers nationwide. To learn more, visit www.amerinet-gpo.com.

Six Shriners Hospital facing potential closure

Rob Kauder / Internet Content Manager, KXLY.com

SPOKANE - With a budget deficit impacting all 22 of its hospitals, the Shriners Hospitals for Children system is considering closing six of its hospitals including their hospital here in Spokane.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ralph Semb, notified the hospital board last week that the system's 22 hospitals are facing a budget deficit. The board is looking at several options for recovering from their deficit including shutting down six of their 22 hospitals.

One of the six being considered for closure is the Spokane hospital, which employs 172 employees and sees approximately 8,500 to 9,000 patients annually from Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Canada and Mexico.

If the Shriners Hospital in Spokane is closed the nearest Shriners hospitals are in Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City.

MassLive.com in Massachusetts identifies the Shriners Hospital in Springfield as one of the other hospitals threatened with potential closure, citing underperformance as the reason six hospitals - including Spokane's - were chosen.

A final decision on how the hospital system will manage its deficit is scheduled to be voted on at their next national meeting to be held this July.

Eureka, Shriners screen children for treatment

Jessie Faulkner/The Times-Standard
Redwood Shrine Club is gearing up for its May 2 screening clinic that will mean a number of children with orthopedic and other medical concerns will be on their way to the Shriner's Hospital in Sacramento for all-expenses-paid medical treatment.

At the clinic, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Surgical Center, 2705 Harris St., Eureka, a pediatrician will examine the children. If accepted, appointments are then set up at the Sacramento hospital.

Children with spinal deformities, hip problems, hand problems, orthopedic issues, missing limbs, bone disease, burns, cleft lips and palates and other issues are potentially eligible for the free medical treatment.

The program is designed for children from newborn to 18 years of age.

”We pay expenses there and back,” Redwood Shrine Club Screening Committee Chairman Gerald “Jerry” Colanter said.

All of the medical expenses at the hospital are also free.

And, depending upon the needed treatment, the no-cost care may extend over a number of years. For example, Colanter said, if a child has lost a limb and needs to be fit with a prosthesis, Shriners will cover cost of providing the artificial limbs until the child is grown.

All the Shriner's 22 hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico run on donations, Colanter said, an effort that requires around $1 million per day.

Colanter urged those with children who may qualify for the program to call him at 725-2436,Richard Allen at 443-5336 or Jim Widdoes at 725-2408. Applications will be sent to those who call, but walk-ins are also welcome the day of the clinic.

Friday, March 27, 2009

IHOP Up Date

For an Up date Video on International Pancake Day and the funds raised for Shriners Hospital for Children go to www.shrinershq.org/Hospitals/_Hospitals_for_Children/News/news03190901.aspx

It is well worth the time to watch the video


Sports Legend’s Official Documentary to be Previewed at Exclusive Portland Event

PORTLAND, Ore. — Shriners Hospitals for Children will celebrate the reinvigoration of a 70-year relationship with Teammates for Humanity at a private event on Tuesday, April 7, at 6 p.m. in downtown Portland.

The fundraising event, which benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland, will include a preview of baseball legend Ted Williams’ official documentary. “Ted Williams: The Greatest Fisherman to Ever Play Baseball” includes never-before-seen interviews and footage from Williams’ private collection. It is the only documentary ever authorized by Williams, who is widely considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. Ted Williams memorabilia will also be on display at the event.

Bobby Doerr, the oldest living player of the Baseball Hall of Fame and narrator of Willams’ documentary, will be celebrating his 91st birthday at the event. Doerr and Williams both played on the 1947 Boston Red Sox World Series team. They, along with Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky, are the founders of the philanthropic organization Teammates for Humanity.

The charity event represents a renewed partnership between Teammates for Humanity and Shriners Hospitals for Children. In addition to Teammates for Humanity giving Shriners Hospitals for Children Ted Williams’ and Bobby Doerr’s documentaries, all of the organization's fundraising efforts will benefit the pediatric health care system.

The first documented connection between Teammates for Humanity and the Shriners organization was Shrine Day at Fenway Park in Boston in 1939. On that day, Williams was photographed driving a Shriner’s mini-car around the infield. In addition, Williams’ son, John Henry, received care for a burn injury at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston in 1986.

About Teammates for Humanity
Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky, who all played on the 1947 Boston Red Sox World Series team, are the founders of Teammates for Humanity. The organization has raised more than $500 million for charity and subscribes to the motto “For Life’s Sake, Put Back More than You Take.” The beneficiary of Teammates for Humanity’s philanthropic efforts is Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Los Angeles Patient Rolls His Way to Basketball Title

Shriners Hospitals for Children – Los Angeles, CA – March 25, 2009 -

It was two years ago that current Shriners Hospitals for Children patient, Miguel Brown, then fifteen, awoke from a two month coma. He had been in a horrific automobile accident in his hometown of Culican, Mexico. The accident was so severe that one of his closest friends died at the scene and Miguel had to have his right leg amputated.
During his recuperation in the hospital, one of his nurses suggested that his family look into the care provided by the Shriners Hospitals for Children healthcare system. The nurse was also the mother of a Shriners Hospital patient and spoke very highly of the care that her child received in Los Angeles. Miguel’s father, a professor of architecture in Culican, related that, “Miguel was very despondent after the accident. He had always been very active in sports and school, but suddenly this all came to a stop. That’s why when we learned of the care provided at the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles we had hope that he could once again be like any other teen.”
At his initial visit, Miguel and his parents met with Yoshio Setoguchi, M.D., Medical Director of the Hospital’s CAPP program. CAPP stands for Child Amputee Prosthetic Project and its focus is to assist children suffering from limb deficiencies, whether they are congenital (from birth) or acquired. Dr. Setoguchi had Miguel fitted with a prosthetic leg which was designed and manufactured in-house. Miguel then went through a rigorous rehabilitation program to re-learn to walk without assistance.
A part of his rehabilitation efforts was to join a local Culican wheelchair basketball team. Miguel loves being part of the team. He said in Spanish, “I always loved being involved in sports and now I get to play plenty.” His team has become so good that they recently won the Culican State Championship and are now practicing to compete against the Mexican National Wheelchair basketball team. But sports aren’t Miguel’s only focus. He is currently in the planning stages of applying to colleges. He is an excellent student and plans on taking his college entrance exam in May of this year. However, even after he graduates from high school, Miguel plans to stay on the team for the foreseeable future.
Miguel still travels regularly with his father to Los Angeles to have his prosthetic limb adjusted. Every three months they fly from their home in Culican to Tijuana. They are then picked up by volunteers from the San Diego Al Bahr Shrine Center and transported to the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles. Says his father, “We are very grateful for the treatment that Miguel has received through Shriners Hospital. I can see the difference in his personality and it’s truly amazing. He’s been through a rollercoaster of emotions for the last two years and I’m very thankful to the Shriners for their support.”

Brunch Honors Shriner

Wednesday, 25 March 2009
West Side Shriners president Kevin Nelson (right) talks with fellow Shriner Gordon Thomas during a brunch Sunday morning at the local Masonic Hall. More than 100 Shriners and guests gathered to honor the official visit of Aahmes Potentate Terry Moody of Livermore. Nelson presented Moody with a check for $1,500, raised from local Shriner projects, including a summer steak-and-oyster dinner and a cioppino feed in December.

Maddy Houk/Patterson Irrigator

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rotary Ventures into Organizing Annual Parade, Shrine Club as Grand Marshals

Rotary brings the flowery parade
Jessie Faulkner/The Times-Standard

Eureka's Old Town Rotary Club is once again leading the organization of the 2009 Rhododendron Festival Parade and have chosen the Redwood Shrine Club as this year's grand marshals.

The Shriners, known for their clowns, men in small brightly colored cars and eclectic bands, have been involved in the spring-time tradition since its inception in the 1960s.

”We'll be out in force,” Redwood Shrine Club President Richard Allen said.

The 43rd Annual Rhododendron Festival Parade will start rolling at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 25. This year's theme is, “Making A Difference,” said Old Town Rotary Club President David Johnson.

The Old Town Rotary took its first venture into organizing the annual parade after the Eureka Chamber of Commerce announced it would no longer be able to organize the annual procession.

Applications to have an entry in the parade may be picked up at the Eureka Chamber of Commerce office, 2112 Broadway, Eureka. There is no entry fee, but applications need to be returned by April 14.

First District Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, one of several who attended the Friday morning parade kick-off festivities

The annual event, which draws bands, cars, floats, horses and more, begins at 7th and F streets and continues through Henderson Center. Residents and visitors take over the sidewalks to get a close look at the procession.

”I don't think enough can be said about what a positive event this is for the community,” Bass said Friday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

California's Shriners hospital gives medical help to 6 Iraqi girls

By Cynthia Hubert | The Sacramento Bee

The children of the war zone gathered around a small table at Shriners hospital on Monday, and did what little girls all over the world do:

They played with their dolls.

Ruaa, age 8, put a stethoscope to her baby's heart. Sarah, 5, attached fake electrodes to her doll's chest. Aya, 10, drew a smile on her tiny patient's cloth face.

Gleeful yelps and laughter rippled across the second floor of the gleaming Sacramento hospital and resonated across the globe.

Six girls, all from Iraq, are in Sacramento for treatment of burns and orthopedic problems that cannot be treated in their homeland, where the medical system has been ravaged. Thanks to Shriners and a nonprofit group called Children in Need International, the girls are getting some of the best care that America has to offer, for free.

"Chokran," said Aya's mother, Nawel, over and over, as she watched her daughter at play on Monday. Thank you. Thank you.

The Iraqis, whom The Bee is not fully naming because of safety risks in their country, are here in large part because of Brenda McFerrin, an American in South Carolina, whose mission is to help children in medical crisis.

McFerrin began coordinating care for Iraqi children after her husband, Dan, who works for military contractor ECC in that country, encountered a young girl who was severely injured by insurgent mortar fire. The McFerrins, working with ECC, the National Iraqi Assistance Center and various charities, brought the girl to Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California for emergency care and treatment.

"I was here for three weeks with them, and then I went home and started my charity," said Brenda McFerrin, a feisty former child development specialist and preschool teacher who has two children and three grandchildren of her own.

"I was totally out of my element," she said. "I had no clue what I was doing." But somehow, it worked.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shrine East-West Game to be played at ?

By JOEY JOHNSTON | The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA - The East-West Shrine Game, a college-football all-star bowl that began in 1925 and spent eight decades on the West Coast, could be coming to Tampa's Raymond James Stadium beginning next season, but only if a long-term agreement is reached.

Meanwhile, the Senior Bowl, a higher-profile all-star game featuring a de facto convention of NFL coaches and executives, is also in play. The Senior Bowl, which is seeking an NFL venue and leaving its long-time home of Mobile, Ala., has offered Tampa exclusive negotiating rights for its game – and an expected long-term arrangement – before it moves to contact other potential suitors.

The Buccaneers could be a key partner in the venture, offering use of its training facility and benefitting from the exposure to highly touted draft prospects.

First, though, the Shrine Game is on the clock.

Shriners International chairman Doug Maxwell appeared Monday before the Tampa Sports Authority board of directors, pitching the Shrine Game's interest in Tampa. Maxwell called it a "natural fit'' because the Shriners' headquarters have been in Tampa for 30 years.

After some back-and-forth discussions about contract terms, the TSA voted unanimously to approve a one-year agreement for the 2010 Shrine Game, but only if Maxwell went to his board next week seeking a five-year deal. Later in the meeting, via telephone, the Shriners proposed a five-year agreement – including a 90-day escape clause that could cancel the deal after two years.

The TSA board said that was unacceptable. If the Shriners produce an iron-clad long-term deal, TSA interim executive director Mickey Farrell said it should be approved at next month's board meeting.

If not?

"I think we move on because [long-term] is what the board wants,'' Farrell said.

Earlier in the meeting, TSA board member Bob Buckhorn spoke of loyalty, saying the Shriners have made "an economic investment and an emotional investment in our community.''

Even though it's far from a done deal, everyone agreed that the Senior Bowl is the more prestigious event. Traditionally held one week before the Super Bowl, the Senior Bowl is a prime gathering spot for agents, NFL coaches, general managers and draft-ready players.

Senior Bowl players work with NFL coaching staffs. The Bucs' staff has three times been assigned to the game, each time becoming familiar with players they ultimately drafted.

The Shrine Game, which also attracts senior draft prospects and NFL brass, is the same weekend as the league's conference championship games. It was held in the San Francisco area until 2006, when it relocated to Texas (San Antonio and Houston).

Monday, March 16, 2009

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) raised $448,000 for Shriners Hospitals for Children during the month of February.

IHOP celebrated National Pancake Day by giving out a free stack of buttermilk pancakes to customers on Feb. 24 at more than 250 locations in 7 western states: Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. In return, guests were encouraged to donate what they would have paid for their pancakes, or more, to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Prior to the big day, IHOP introduced a four-week point-of-purchase fundraising campaign at the participating locations. When guests paid for their meals, they were given an option to add between $1 and $5 to their bill, with proceeds benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children. This component of the campaign raised $176,000.

The health care system has been the beneficiary of National Pancake Day at select IHOP stores since 2006. Imperial Donor Relations Director Tom Smith as worked with IHOP for many years and we thank him for his help in making this year’s event such a success.

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston kicked off the event locally on Feb. 19 with a Pancake Pandemonium Party for kids at the hospital. Houston City Council Member Wanda Adams visited and presented a City Proclamation to kick off National Pancake Day. In addition, Houston Texans player Eric Winston was a celebrity “pancake flipper” at an area IHOP on Feb. 24. Watch a video from the Houston event on our Web site at


Friday, March 13, 2009

Brother Mel Tillis at Al Kaly, Colorado Springs

The Al Kaly Shriners of Southern Colorado
Mel Tillis in Concert
March 28th, 2009 - 7:30pm
Pikes Peak Center, Colorado Springs
Shrine Nobles, their family and friends will have “first pick” of seat selection until October 31st, 2008. After October 31st, tickets will go on sale to the public.

You may purchase your tickets by using one of the following methods.

* Call direct: 719-520-SHOW (7469) or call “toll free” 866-464-2626
* Western Tickets TicketsWest.com
* King Soopers sells tickets for both the PPC and World Arena
* In person at the World Arena, or Pikes Peak Center ticket offices
* Al Kaly will not sell tickets directly through any person or through the Al Kaly Shrine office. We have a contract with the PPC for exclusive ticket sales.

Proceeds are for the benefit of Al Kaly Shriners
Payments are not deductible as charitable contribution

Hillbilly Degree at Laughlin

Shriners from Los Angeles, LasVegas, Fresno and San Jose drifted in Laughlin, Nv. last weekend(march6,7,8) to take part in adding new members to Oil Clan 69 Hillbillys. Friday the mommy's did their part and Saturday following the Shrine Degrees' the Ol'Men under the direction of Chief Rabban Charles Chastain (pictured)proceded to add to the Clan.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

$5 Tour

KFYR-TV, Paramount Builders, and many Bismarck-area contractors have teamed up to raise money for the Shriners Children`s Hospitals with the Charity Home. Once it`s built, people will be able to buy $5 tickets to tour the fully stocked and decorated home in south Bismarck. The money from those tours will be given to Shriners.

One cutting edge feature of the home is its insulation system. It includes foam insulation in the foundation and walls, insulated wall panels, and a special lining in the attic. The builders say it`s so efficient that it can cut energy costs by 40-60%.

Scott Stoeckel of Paramount Builders says, "On a typical application on a super insulated home, you don`t have to have such a large heating and cooling system. It`ll run much more efficient as well."

Once the tours are over, the home will be sold. We`ll have future updates on the Charity Home project on television and on our website.
Now this is Thinking out of the box by the people involved. Let me know if you have a new or different way to raise money for Shriners Hospital! G-Wiz

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shriners Rock! R.I.P.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new venue in town. No wait, it’s gone.

Who would have thought that the Sabbar Shrine would have become host to bands like the Cramps-esque Mission Creeps, Tucson rockabilly dynamo Al Foul or gypsy ensemble Molehill Orkestrah? Well, it was… from early January until this last Thursday when they wrapped up with a songwriter showcase, which included Twelker, Leila Lopez and Chad Brimm. So in the meantime, your Thursdays will have to be Shrine-free, but hopefully one day the Shriners Rock! series will be revived. You can try checking periodically at myspace.com/shrinersrockconcertseries.

Shriners Hospitals Cutting Budgets

Shriners Hospitals for Children, reeling from a $3 billion-plus loss in its endowment fund due to the tumbling stock market, has suspended some capital projects and is looking at cutting budgets at most of its 22 hospitals.

Not in Sacramento, however.

Shriners’ flagship Northern California hospital began taking patients from the network’s medical center in Galveston, Texas, after it was closed following damage by Hurricane Ike last year. The uptick in patients means Sacramento will be one of the few hospitals in the network likely to escape cuts this year, said Ralph Semb, president and chief executive officer of Shriners.

“Most hospitals will see a decrease in their budgets in ’09-’10, but with Northern California accepting patients normally going to Galveston, it would be hard to cut theirs,” he said. “Four or five hospitals in the system, unless there’s a voluntary program, will have to be kept at the same level.”

A handful of capital projects in other markets have been suspended by the children’s health care system, based in Tampa, Fla.

Plans for a new hospital in St. Louis have been put on hold; the existing hospital will have to do for now. In Los Angeles, the health system has hired an architect to look into retrofitting the existing facility to meet California earthquake standards instead of replacing it. And in late January, Shriners announced it was suspending renovation of the Galveston hospital until the organization’s finances improve.

The Shriners board will meet March 23 for three or four days to hash out plans to deal with finances. The endowment fund had declined in value to $5 billion from $8 billion by late January.

“It’s probably more now, the way the market is going,” Semb said. “We have a ship that’s going into a hurricane.”

The drop is crucial because Shriners relies on donations, annual fees paid by each Shrine fraternity and interest from the endowment fund to operate its 22 hospitals.

The health system does not accept insurance. It provides free care to children up to age 18 who suffer from burns, spinal-cord injuries or orthopedic problems.

“We’re beginning to tap into the endowment fund we are never supposed to touch,” Semb said. “It’s supposed to be there for eternity. Retained earnings are going down, and interest on the endowment fund is not enough. What else can we do?”

The health system is now tapping the fund for $2 million a day.
Donations up

The 80-bed, eight-story Shriners hospital on the UC Davis Medical Center campus in Sacramento is the only one in the network to combine all four Shrine specialties — burns and scars, spinal problems, orthopedics and research — in one location.

The hospital sees about 3,000 new patients a year, but many of them require multiple services.

About 30,000 services are provided annually, including clinic visits, surgery, in-patient care, physical and occupational therapy, motion analysis and diagnostic imaging.

The local orthotics and prosthetics lab custom designs and fabricates about 300 devices a month.

“We do things no other hospital does,” said spokeswoman Marlena Lagina-Kleine in Tampa. “Not only do we care for children and prepare them to integrate back into their lives, but if they need an MRI or CT scan we don’t provide, we pay for it or pay the balance of what insurance didn’t pay.”

Patients are grateful. This propels donations, even in the bad economy.

While many nonprofits and charitable organizations report donations are down, Shriners had a 10 percent increase in gifts and donations in 2008 — and a 15 percent increase in income from wills and bequests, Lagina-Kleine said.

The research budget in Sacramento has more than doubled to $6 million in the past two years; research staff has increased from 70 to about 100.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Genetic link discovered by Clubfoot Specialist at Shriners Hospital for Children

Research Study
Clubfoot Gene Identified
Discovery May Lead to Better Treatments, Therapies

The opportunity to study a family with a multi-generational history of clubfoot has led to the discovery of a gene mutation critical in early limb development called PITX1. Clubfoot affects one in 1,000 live births and is the most common inherited musculoskeletal birth defect. Genetic factors clearly play a role in its cause as 25 percent of all clubfoot cases are familial in nature. Identifying the genes that contribute to clubfoot deformity is the first step toward the development of improved genetic counseling and therapies.

The study began with an infant patient of Matthew Dobbs, M.D., associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and clubfoot specialist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children—St. Louis. The child is a member of a large family that has been affected by clubfoot over several generations. Dobbs and Christina Gurnett, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology, of pediatrics and of orthopedic surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine discovered that of the 35 extended family members analyzed, 13 had lower limb abnormalities, including clubfoot. Further analysis by the research team showed there was a mutation of a gene on the same chromosome in each affected family member.

“This is the first time a gene has been implicated in the development of clubfoot,” said Dr. Dobbs. “Identifying such large families with clubfoot is much easier at Shriners Hospitals than other hospital systems because of the excellent record keeping and the large number of patients in the system. We have a large patient database collected including DNA samples from hundreds of children and their family members with clubfoot. Screening these other clubfoot patients for the same or similar gene mutations is currently underway.”

Dr. Dobbs explained that clubfoot is multi-factorial in origin, meaning that multiple genes and environmental factors are most likely responsible. All of the causes of clubfoot will not be explained by one gene. In order to investigate potential environmental factors, the research team is distributing questionnaires to participating families to gain information on conditions during pregnancy and other historical issues that may factor into the incidence of clubfoot.

“The discovery of this gene’s role in limb development is important because it puts us on the right path toward understanding why clubfoot occurs. Once the causes of clubfoot are better understood we can begin to work on new treatments and potentially preventive strategies for this common and serious musculoskeletal disorder,” Dr. Dobbs said.

The full study, Asymmetric Lower-Limb Malformations in Individuals with Homeobox PITX1 Gene Mutation, was published in the Nov. 17, 2008 issue of American Journal of Human Genetics.

Washington University School of Medicine (2008, October 24). First Gene for Clubfoot Identified. Science Daily. Retrieved December 9, 2008, from http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023144101.htm

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hospital Virtual Tours Now Online

Virtual tours of Shriners Hospitals for Children in Cincinnati, Lexington, and Chicago are now online on each hospital’s web site. Links to the tours are found on each hospital’s home page and on the “about us” page.

Each tour is led by three patients at the hospital, and designed to help ease fears children may have about hospital stays or visits. The tours are also a way for Shriners, who may live far from one of our hospitals, to connect with health care system.







Marlena Lagina-Kleine,Vice President

Development, Communiations and Public Relations Shriners International

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Shriner Gives Thanks

Shriner gives thanks for support

I would like to thank the International House of Pancakes worldwide and more especially the great crew at Grand Junction IHOP for their pancakes with the Shriners, held on Tuesday. This project brings in a lot of donations for the Shrine hospitals for kids. I have personally sponsored a few kids into our program and you have no idea how it is to watch these kids progress with their surgeries and therapy. To talk to a parent about their Shriner experience and see these kids’ smiles, if it doesn’t tug a heart string or put a tear in your eye, you’re either comatose or from another planet.

I thank the people of Grand Junction who showed up and donated to the Shrine program. For those who missed it, please come and watch our Circus Parade May 16 on Main Street in Grand Junction at 1 p.m., or better yet come to the circus in Montrose on May 20, Delta May 21 or Grand Junction May 22-2.

Thanks to the Shrine clowns who came out and entertained the kids (of all ages).

If you know of a child we might help with orthopedics, spina bifeda, limb problems, cleft pallet or burns (new or old) bring them to our screening clinic at Community Hospital in Grand Junction after 8 a.m. on April 25. We clowns will be there again trying to put smiles on their faces.

I know I would do about anything to watch a kid run, just take a step or at least smile.

Hope to see you in the near future, “Mugsy” the Shrine Clown.