by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The Shiawassee Shrine Club is pleased to share a new Telehealth Care Network that allows children and their guardians to travel to Saginaw for health check-ups, instead of always facing the burden and hardship of having to travel to the Shriners Hospitals for Children® in Chicago, or possibly even Cincinnati, as was the previous method. Obviously, traveling with a child who is already struggling due to an illness can prove to be problematic. However, once a child is enrolled in the Telehealth Care Network program, the Shiawassee Shrine Club can escort the child and guardian(s) to Saginaw, where through telecommunications technology, a nurse located with the patient is able to access a remote doctor in Chicago to offer the needed specialized pediatric care. Devices such as handheld examination cameras and digital stethoscopes have made this form of care possible. For major treatments or surgical procedures, the child might still have to return to Chicago, but visiting Saginaw for check-ups not only helps reduce financial and travel stress on the family, it reduces the possibility of the child missing school unnecessarily, and increases their comfort level, as well.
Shriners Hospitals for Children® have been available for almost a century and have treated over one million children. Bill Lulham, treasurer of the Shiawassee Shrine Club, has been an active local member for 17 years. For six of those years, Lulham delivered children to and from Chicago as often as two to six times a month. The trip generally included an overnight stay. Lulham is no longer a driver as other Shrine members have taken on that task. The Shiawassee Shrine Club currently includes approximately 28 members that meet monthly at various area restaurants.
Some medical conditions that can be treated through this new program include (but aren’t limited to) amputations/prosthetics, craniofacial surgery, dislocated hips, jaw deformities, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, knee ligament injuries, Marfan’s syndrome, osteomyelitis, scoliosis, and spina bifida.
For individuals interested in finding out how they can support the Shiawassee Shrine Club, there are numerous ways to give. Lulham can be reached at (989) 743-4136. Also, the club will be hosting its annual fundraising onion sale in May, though details on that effort will be announced at a later time.