Larry Waters of the Legion presents a check to the St. Croix Valley Shrine Club represented by Bob Hering. Photo by Milt Helmer
Larry Waters of the Legion presents a check to the St. Croix Valley Shrine Club represented by Bob Hering. Photo by Milt Helmer

By Milt Helmer, St. Croix Valley Shrine Club

RIVER FALLS, WI -- The Shriners of the St. Croix Valley Shrine Club were special guests at the regular meeting of Fletcher Pechacek American Legion Post on Wednesday, May 8 at the Legion club in River Falls.

After introductions the Legion members received a video presentation outlining what the Shrine does at the Shriners Healthcare for Children® in the Twin Cities. The video and a short introduction was given by Past Potentate Larry Riemenschneider of Amery. In his remarks Noble Riemenschneider explained the annual events carried out by the St. Croix Valley Shrine Club that help support Shriners Healthcare for Children®.

Bob Hering, who is a member of the board of governors at Shriners, explained in depth the work done by Shriners in the Twin Cities.

Since 1923, Shriners has provided specialty medical care to children with orthopedic conditions. In late 2018 they went from Shriners Hospital for Children to Shriners Healthcare for Children (SHC), changing from a hospital to an outpatient clinic.

“The new clinic model incorporates physicians’ visits, radiology, orthotics, prosthetics, rehabilitation along with telehealth and offsite clinic operations.”

Shriners surgeons now perform the majority of procedures at the Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in the Twin Cities.

“With these changes, they are committed to their mission” said Hering, adding “We want to ensure the patients to become as healthy, active and independent as possible, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.”

Just some of the numbers from last year at the SHC – TC are: 2,978 - unique patients of which 1,015 were new patients, 462 – surgeries, 2,796 - orthoses and prosthesis were made, 35 – outreach screening clinics and 22 – specialty camps and events.

The Shriners Healthcare for Children Twin Cities handles Orthopedic Treatment Specialties but not limited to: Arthrogryposis - stiff joints, Cerebral palsy, Club foot, Hip disorder, Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Limb deficiencies and deformities, Osteogenesis Imperfecta – brittle bones, Rickets, Specialized plastic surgery/ scar revisions, Spina bifida/ myelodysplasia, Spine deformities – scoliosis and Sports injuries – stable fractures.

In 2019 they are working to develop and expand a network of outreach sites. Shriners are seeking to introduce telehealth services and an outreach model that offers more frequent clinic options, but also smaller clinics in remote areas. The whole intent is to promote more points of access with greater frequency. This model will replace the larger annual or biannual patients visits in the past. They will create more access to services for kids and minimize the cost of transportation while developing high – quality and specialty services. Shriners will continue to provide the special, wrap around care that is a hallmark of Shriners service.

Following the brief presentation, the American Legion club in River Falls presented a check for $400 to the St. Croix Valley Shrine Club President Roger Keller of New Richmond.