Shriners Hospitals and the Florida Highway Patrol Team Up to Locate Children in Need of Medical Care

May 13, 2004, 01:00 ET from Shriners Hospitals for Children

    TAMPA, Fla., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Shriners Hospitals have joined forces
 with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), to help locate children under 18, who
 could benefit from the expert care available at Shriners Hospitals. M. Burton
 Oien, Imperial Potentate of the Shriners of North America, and Colonel
 Christopher Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, kicked off the
 partnership at a press conference at the Shriners Hospital for Children in
 Tampa, Fla.
     Shriners Hospitals will provide every trooper in Florida with Shriners
 Hospitals' toll-free number business cards. When members of the Florida
 Highway Patrol identify a child who they think may need services provided by
 Shriners Hospitals for Children, they will provide the child's parents or
 guardian with the card, which can be accessed in order to obtain more
 information and a patient application.
     "It is not only an honor but a privilege to partner with Shriners
 Hospitals with a common goal of helping children," said Colonel Christopher A.
 Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.
     Shriners Hospitals treat children with orthpaedic problems, severe burn
 and spinal cord injuries.
     "Our partnership with the Florida Highway Patrol will help us find
 children in isolated areas who need help but may never have come in contact
 with Shriners Hospitals," said Ralph W. Semb, Chairman of the Board of
 Trustees of Shriners Hospitals for Children. "Our goal is to have all 50
 states participate in programs like this."
     This is not the first time Shriners Hospitals has joined with a government
 agency to locate children using the direct contact approach. In 2000, the
 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also helped Shriners Hospitals through
 its Community Outreach Program. Similarly in 2001, the Royal Canadian Mounted
 Police (RCMP) established "Operation Red Coat/Red Fez," a program where more
 than 3,000 Royal Canadian Mounties were asked to help locate Canadian children
 in need of the type of medical care provided at no cost in all 22 Shriners
     Since the first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922, more than 735,000
 children with orthopaedic problems, severe burns and spinal cord injuries have
 received some of the best medical care in the world. The 22 Shriners Hospitals
 provide care totally without charge to children up to their 18th birthday. The
 Shriners of North America, an international fraternity with approximately
 450,000 members in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama,
 founded the hospital system. If you know a child Shriners Hospitals might be
 able to help, call 1-800-237-5055 in the U.S.; 1-800-361-7256 in Canada; or

SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children