Shriners Children close in Houston, consolidate in Galveston
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  • The Shriners Hospital at the Texas Medical Center will be closed at the end of 2020, it was announced on Thursday, January 9, 2020 in Houston. The closure ends a 100-year presence in the city. Shriners will consolidate area care at the larger Galveston hospital, which is best known for treating burn victims. The Houston hospital started under a different name in downtown Houston in 1920 and moved to its current location in the medical center in 1996. less
    The Shriners Hospital at the Texas Medical Center will be closed at the end of 2020, it was announced on Thursday, January 9, 2020 in Houston. The closure ends a 100-year presence in the city. Shriners will consolidate territory … more

    Photo: Brett Coomer, staff photographer

Photo: Brett Coomer, staff photographer

The Shriners Hospital at the Texas Medical Center will be closed at the end of 2020, it was announced on Thursday, January 9, 2020 in Houston. The closure ends a 100-year presence in the city. Shriners will consolidate area care at the larger Galveston hospital, which is best known for treating burn victims. The Houston hospital started under a different name in downtown Houston in 1920 and moved to its current location in the medical center in 1996. less
The Shriners Hospital at the Texas Medical Center will be closed at the end of 2020, it was announced on Thursday, January 9, 2020 in Houston. The closure ends a 100-year presence in the city. Shriners will consolidate territory … more

Photo: Brett Coomer, staff photographer

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Shriners Children close in Houston, consolidate in Galveston

The Shriners Children’s Hospital at the Texas Medical Center plans to close in 2021.

The closure, ending Shriner’s 100-year presence in Houston, means that all four of Shriner’s specialist care – acute burns, orthopedic and neuromusculoskeletal disorders and diseases, cleft lip and palate abnormalities, and injury repair – will be delivered in Galveston. The combustion unit is currently in Galveston and the other three in Houston.

“This will make more efficient use of resources and enable us to receive patients who require more than one type of care, not uncommonly, in one place,” said Mel Bower, marketing director at Shriner’s national offices in Tampa. “It makes more strategic sense.”

Bower said closure and consolidation plans are still smooth, but should be completed sometime in the first half of 2021. The decision was made last fall, he said.

Bower added that the presence of the burn center in Galveston was an important determining factor in the decision to consolidate there rather than in Houston. He noted that the requirements for providing such care are very complex.

The history of Shriners in Houston dates back to 1920, when it was opened as the Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic in the Baptist Sanitarium in downtown. It was housed at a number of different locations in the city before it took root in the medical center in 1949. It built a facility at its current location in 1996.

The Shriners system, which began as a reaction to the polio epidemic in the 1920s and accepts patients regardless of the family’s ability to pay, consists of 20 hospitals in the US, one in Mexico and one in Canada.

todd.ackerman@chron.com

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