Back in 2004 it was my privilege to be asked to craft an article for Firehouse Magazine about the wonderful works being performed by the dedicated folks at the Boston Shriners Hospital for Children. You may recall that I covered some really important acts, actions, and activities put forth by this nationally-recognized treatment center. The work being done at the outstanding facility continues to this very day.
My friends at the Boston Shriners Hospitals for Children came to me recently and asked for some help. John Sugden and Kathy Golden approached me and asked me to create a bit of commentary which would allow them to share some important news with you about their hospital. Although the hospital is best known for its outstanding children's burn treatment facility, they wanted me to get out the word to the fire service that they are also specialists in the care of a number of other serious medical conditions, most notably among them the treatment of cleft palate conditions.
The first thing that you notice when visiting Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston is the beautiful modern architecture of the nine story facility. Once inside you see a beautiful mural depicting the history and culture of Boston. But more importantly you notice the warm welcome from everyone from the receptionist to the doctors to the cafeteria staff. Because Shriners is a small pediatric hospital, the atmosphere is warm and friendly.
Let me state for the record that I was so impressed with the charitable work of the Shriners which I witnessed in Boston back in 2004 that when the next opportunity presented itself I joined with the Crescent Shrine Temple here in the southern half of New Jersey. I am also a Past Master at Ocean Lodge #89 and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Central Jersey.
It is critical to share one important fact of life to you. All Shriners hospitals have one important detail in common. All treatment is provided regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Talk about a true charitable endeavor. Once again you might be wondering how a boy from the Garden State ended up as a proponent of a children's hospital in Boston, and a really special hospital at that.
The answer is simple my friends. I was asked by a Brother Mason and a fellow Shriner to help out. John Sugden called me to ask for a favor. I met John back in 2004 during a visit to the Grand Lodge of Masons facility in downtown Boston. He is actually the friend of a friend. My pal Dennis Dowd, retired fire chief in Winchendon, and a former fire officer in Dover, Massachusetts is also a Brother Mason. It was Denny who set up the original visit through John.
The Shriners Hospitals for Children are the only philanthropic pediatric surgical care hospitals in New England. The hospitala are internationally known as centers of excellence for pediatric specialty care, research and education. Since 1968, the hospital has been a world renowned leader in pediatric burn care. Additionally, their medical team has treated hundreds of children with cleft lip and palate. In addition, they have expanded our services to include oral maxillofacial surgery, by collaborating with specialists from MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
During a recent phone conversation, John and Kathy asked me to create a new article which covers the whole range of medical problems for which the provides assistance. Let me share an important fact with you all. When a brother Mason asks for help, it is incumbent for you to respond, if at all possible. That is a tradition dating back many centuries.
John and Kathy wanted me to share a complete list of all the treatment regimens and condition that their facility is prepared to treat. The outstanding staff and support team in Boston have the ability to provide an extensive range of services. Here is the list of what they are prepared to provide: