140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shriners New Hospital Nearly Finished


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Written by Jim Mendoza - jmendoza@kgmb9.com
May 26, 2009

The new Shriners Hospital for Children is earth toned and color splashed with kid-friendly paintings, mosaics, and mobiles. Shriners International Chairman of the Board Douglas Maxwell said the building is thoroughly modern.

"It's like taking your old house and making a new house. It's just designed better," he said.

Patients bathtubs come with side doors that open for easy wheelchair access. Operating room equipment is suspended from the ceiling, giving surgeons more foot space for operations that can last several hours.

"As new equipment was coming around we put it into the building," Maxwell said.

Shriners Honolulu clinic opened in 1923. The hospital in 1964. Over 25,000 children have had orthopedic treatments at Shriners. The new building is two-stories tall and forty percent bigger. But there will be fewer beds -- 25 instead of 40.

"Medicine has improved so much sixty to eighty percent of our operations can literally be done in a day," Maxwell said. "Why have all these beds that are open 24/7?"

The hospital is Phase One. Phase Two will be an office building plus family quarters for extended stays. That will be completed in 2010.

"Because we wanted the extra things in this hospital, therapy pool, these family quarters, to go that extra mile we said let's see if we can ask the local Hawaiian community to help us," Maxwell said.

The upgrade cost $73 million, including $14 million from private donations.
The new hospital opens next month with screenings for families worried about their child's orthopedic health. Like all Shriners care it's free.
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