Honolulu Shriners return to Guam - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Honolulu Shriners return to Guam

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - A medical team from the Shriners Hospital for Children based out of Honolulu, Hawaii wraps up its visit to the region this week.  The hospital is a one-of-a-kind healthcare system dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care. It has been around since 1922.

Dr. Richard Haynes says teams from Shriners have been visiting Guam since the 1950s, noting, "There is a limited number of orthopedic hospitals. Our hospital sees people with orthopedic problems such as the related to the spine or the lower extremities and the beautiful thing about it is that the Shriners has provided support for them by providing nursing at no expense to the families. The Shriners provides all the care."

Every year, the hospital provides care for thousands of kids with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate at no charge. For children suffering from orthopedic conditions, Shriners provides medical rehabilitation services with deformities, problems resulting from orthopedic injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

As for burns, treatment is provided for burn injuries and related scarring, along with physical and emotional rehabilitation.  As well, Shriners provides services to help with spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Patients with cleft lip and palates receive coordinated, comprehensive multidisciplinary care, children up to age 18 are eligible for care if there is a reasonable possibility they can benefit from the specialized services.

Dr. Haynes said, "Some of them are related to cerebral palsy where they don't have control of their extremities, seeing kids who are missing parts of limbs from birth and all kinds of unusual conditions. Occasionally they're related to injuries or trauma but for the most part they're things children are born with."

The Shriners also specialize in conducting innovative research to provide answers to complex medical difficulties affecting children. To learn more about the group, check out ShrinersHQ.org.

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