TAMPA, Fla., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the number of children who have sustained burn injuries as a result of the war in Iraq, Shriners Hospitals for Children has agreed to accept a limited number of children at its four world-renowned hospitals, which treat severely burned children. "We believe very strongly that it is right for us to offer aid to some of these children and after analyzing our current patient load, have decided that we can provide this expert care," said John D. VerMaas, Chairman of the Board of Shriners Hospitals. Shriners Hospitals has been working through CENTCOM in Qatar to establish contact with many of the humanitarian aid groups that will be involved in re- building the Iraqi civilization and military health infrastructure. These groups will likely be the ones responsible for coordinating aid for some of these children. As with all other Shriners Hospitals' patients, there will be no charge for this expert medical care. Shriners Hospitals Medical Director, Peter F. Armstrong, M.D., is currently working with CENTCOM to begin the logistical process of bringing these children to the United States. The 22 Shriners Hospitals provide expert medical care to children up to 18 years old with orthopaedic problems, severe burns and spinal cord injuries, totally free of charge. The Shrine of North America, an international fraternity with approximately 500,000 members in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama, founded the hospital system.
SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children