Sad News for The Children

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by owls84, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    All,

    Today I read an article that is very sad. It says that the Shrine has decided to close the Hospital in Galveston for good. This is the first I have heard of this and I am saddened to hear that a cause as great as the hospital could close due to damages recieved by the Hurricane. Where there not any insurance on the building? Why would an orginization like the Shrine decide to do this without sending an SOS to the Brothers?

    http://cbs11tv.com/local/shriners.hospital.galveston.2.915899.html
     
  2. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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  3. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    I have heard that it was a matter of numbers.. ! they just don't have enough masons to fill the ranks.. ! the number of members is getting smaller and the projection is that in the near furture that number will get smaller...?

    This is a direct effect of the new Grandlodge laws passed in last few years.. ! at ever turn when things have been proposed to help membership.. ? the same bunch gets up and cry about changing the work .. ! then they get up and add new opening and closing of the EA, fellowcrafts and lodge of sorrow ... ! then wonder why the Shrine and other organizations are loosing members.

    This is very sad.. ! have taken kids to the Hospital.. ! they had the finest Doctors and Staff in the world.. !
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    That's awful.
     
  5. jwardl

    jwardl Guest

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    Membership may have something to do with it, but it's primarily a matter of having insufficient funds for the same reason the GL won't be passing out endowment distributions this year -- the economy is in the tank and return on most investments is very poor. The Shriners are continuing to operate a number of their hospitals, but like the rest of us, have been forced to trim their budget. It doesn't help that the Galveston hospital was so damaged by Ike, significantly increasing the expenditures necessary to keep it open.

    My condolences to all negatively affected, but better fewer Shrine hospitals than none. We must all make sure than when the better times return, so does the Galveston Shriner's Hospital.
     
  6. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    something...? will call Monday and get the numbers.. ! nothing like the facts..
     
  7. Curtis Wilson

    Curtis Wilson Registered User

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    I posted this in another section, but feel it fits this discussion better.

    I have a slightly different view on the problems of the Galveston Hospital. Been on both sides, as a Mason and the father of a patient. Going strictly on observations and knowing people that work there, I think the hospital cut it's own throat by sharing services with UTMB. Many residents and other services were shifted over in an effort to cut cost at the Shriners Hospital. Clinic day was usually a Mad house but organized with minimal staff and relying heavily on volunteers. They tended to run a full floor or shuting down floors if patient load was low, moving patients to critical floors and sending staff home. My opinion may be offensive to some, and it's not meant to be, but I think the hospital should have been totally self sufficient and not try to take on the world by linking to the state hospital. We moved away from the hospital to Texas Childrens, not because of the service of the Doctors or nurses, but not totally satisfied with how the hospital, as a whole was being administered and scheduled. The children are the ones that will suffer reguardless the cause for the closing, and I'm still sorry for it closing.
     
  8. jwardl

    jwardl Guest

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    Can't speak for everyone, of course, but no offense taken personally.

    In fact, your POV from the inside is appreciated.
     
  9. swgordon

    swgordon Guest

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    Wrong Direction

    I am most disturbed by everyone accepting this as a business decision. After the meeting this week, several employees commented that the work remaining to reopen is minimal and a contractor volunteered to do it for free.

    Echoing another brothers comments, why was the entire Masonic community not aware of this? Has the brotherhood so deteriorated that we would not rally to help children treated at this institution?

    I have yet to hear a rally cry from Grand Lodge of Texas. Are we giving up? I went first to the Grand Lodge website for information....I certainly consider the Shriner's my brother and shouldn't we all be coming to the aid of our brothers grand endeavor?

    My wife formerly worked at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital before we moved to Houston. My only criticism of the organization was its primary focus on itself. Rather than holding on to "what we have built", maybe we should be focused on what we can do? Why do we not have a goal to expand the Scottish Rite and/or Shriner hospitals to treat more children.

    Instead we collectively seem to be watching and waiting like the rest of America for President Obama and Congress to take care of children's healthcare. I do not harbor any ill will towards our President, but I personally would prefer my children's hypothetical medical treatment to be provided by a Masonic organization rather than the government.

    I couldn't even find a place on the Grand Lodge of Texas website to have this discussion. Can someone please give me direction on how to change the direction of Masonry?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2009
  10. RJS

    RJS Guest

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    Why are you attacking GL? GL doesn't run the Shrine.
     
  11. swgordon

    swgordon Guest

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    Why do you see this as an attack?

    I am frustrated that the closing of a major children's hospital that is closely tied to Freemasonry does not receive any public comment from GL. I am frustrated that GL does not have a forum/blog on its website that provides immediate discussions among its brothers. I am frustrated that our brotherhood was not first in line at the recent meeting in Galveston and that we are not leading the charge to save this important Texas institution. I am frustrated with myself because I am so wrapped up in raising my three kids that I haven't attended lodge in 6+months and 12+months before that.

    So am I attacking GL? I'm sorry that it appears that way. In reality I am lamenting that Freemasonry is sinking to the status of any other fraternity and I'm riding in the back of the bus rather than reading the map and helping choose a destination. I'm not even a backseat driver...just staring out the window and occasionally asking where we are going....
     
  12. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I began responding to your various points till I saw "I am frustrated with myself because I am so wrapped up in raising my three kids that I haven't attended lodge in 6+months and 12+months before that."

    I've been blessed with two wild, yes wild, boys and they are the best thing in my life. Brother, focus on God, Family then the Brotherhood. Masonry will be waiting for you when you take care of your responsibilities. Check out the official Shriners website http://www.shrinershq.org/Hospitals/Main/ , do you see any mention of the closing? No. Although it's unfortunate, the blame shouldn't be towards the GL.
     
  13. swgordon

    swgordon Guest

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    I do not lament spending time with my children. However, I don't quit my job to be with them more because I must put money in the bank to provide for them; I don't quit church because I must fill my spiritual bank; Freemasonry fills a similar role and I have been neglectful looking at instant gratification rather than longterm benefits.

    I know my brothers will welcome me back, but my frustration lies in not being involved enough to know where to go to change this situation and more importantly relying on someone else to take care of it.

    By morning light, I regret my tone. I do not blame GL or Shrine for failing to act on what they do not know, and it is wrong to assume that either was aware of the hospital's apparent fate prior to the official announcement. While I agree that Shriners should take the point on saving this hospital, their failing to do so should not be an excuse for the rest of us.

    I would have preferred for the hospital board to announce they have a problem and they are discussing long term solutions with Shriners. I hope that the Shriners would ask all of Freemasonry, especially those in Texas, to help save this institution. If those endeavors fail, then this drastic action may be necessary.

    I am concerned that the hospital did not take that route because they did not know how Masons would respond or even more disturbing, they did know and that knowledge lead to this action

    so many what ifs and hypotheticals..... I just really want to save the hospital for the children that receive direct and indirect benefit from it. I pray that I never need their services and I am concerned with what, if anything, will fill the gap.
     
  14. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    closing

    from what ive been told is that the hospital is run off off money in the market and endowment funds. neither of which are making any money the way the economy is. as far as lodges helping, most lodges i know are not in the best financial shape to begin with. especialy city lodges that are pounded by taxes every year. this is no doubt a sad situation.
     

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