Shriners Hospitals Preparing To Help Burn-Injured Iraqi Children

Apr 17, 2003, 01:00 ET from Shriners Hospitals for Children

    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
     "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