By Christi Myers,ABC ch.13 For full story go to ABCLocal.go.com
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- When the Shriners burn hospital in Galveston closed in January after Hurricane Ike, it left a huge void. There was no place in Houston that could treat children with severe burns, but that has changed. In this exclusive report, we learned the Shriners Orthopedic Hospital in Houston is now taking children with burns.
Since the hurricane, burn patients have been treated unofficially at Houston's Shriners Orthopedic Hospital. However, after April 1 it will be official that both hospitals have been melded into one, and now Shriners Orthopedic Hospital in Houston is seeing 2,000 burn patients from Galveston.
"They're teaching us about burn care, we're teaching them about orthopedic care and the end result is the same level of quality," said Steve Reiter, CEO of Shriners Hospital for Children of Houston.
Twenty-four staffers have been hired from the Galveston Hospital. The burn surgeons come here from Galveston's UTMB Burn Center.
"It's been an easy transition and a great transition. The Houston hospital has been accommodating, the operating rooms are wonderful, the clinics are wonderful and our patients, I think are happy," said Dr. David Herndon, Chief of Burn Services, UTMB.
Another void was filled just one week ago, when UTMB's Burn Center in Galveston began taking children with emergency burns for the first time. Now all emergency burn patients, children and adults, can be treated. Shriners Hospital in Houston will do the follow-up care for burned children and continue its orthopedic programs.