If you mention the word Shriners, people often imagine a bunch of grown men wearing funny hats and riding little bikes in parades, but what is less known is why they do this. The why is to bring attention to the mandate of the Shriners, the care of children through the Shriners Hospitals for Children system and the Shriners Care Cruiser Transportation Program.
The Shriners are an old and established fraternal and charitable organization. Shriners International is 140 years old while the Shriners of British Columbia and Yukon are 110 years old. The Shriners of British Columbia & Yukon are part of the Masonic Fraternity which was established in the province of British Columbia in 1858.
The Shriners Care Cruiser Program is eleven years old having begun on September 10th, 2001. Today there are five Shrine Care Cruisers which travel throughout British Columbia transporting children to BC Childrens Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre, BC Women's Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children in Portland, Oregon and Spokane, Washington.
The Shriners of BC & Yukon's Care Cruiser program is funded by public / private donations and with the assistance of the Province of British Columbia through B.C. Gaming Corp.
Today the Shriners, through their Care Cruiser program, spend over a million dollars annually transporting children to various hospitals for treatment. During the past ten years the Shriners and Shriners Hospitals for Children have contributed over $40,000,000 to Health Care and the economy of British Columbia.
Since 1925, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada has had a mission to provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs within a compassionate, family-centered and collaborative care environment.
Affiliated with McGill University the medical staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada consists of pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatric orthopaedic surgeons, pediatricians and other specialists who are leaders in the field of orthopedics and hold teaching appointments too many local colleges and universities (McGill and Montreal University.) In September 2012, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada broke ground on the McGill University Glen Campus for the construction of a new $130,000,000.00 Shriners Hospital for Children.
Although the concept of private vs. public health care in BC is a matter of concern in the province, the Shriners have been treating BC Children since 1924 (over 88 years) at their one-of-a-kind not for profit hospital's for children.
Currently 505 children from British Columbia and the Yukon attend Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, Oregon; Spokane, Washington, Sacramento, California; Montreal, Quebec and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at no cost to them or the Government of British Columbia.
In 2012 Shriners International spent over $809,000,000.00 on medical care and research for children through its 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Shriners Hospitals for Children is a one-of-a-kind not for profit health care system edicated to improving the lives of children by providing Paediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Every year, the 22 hospitals provide care for thousands of kids with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate in a caring and nurturing family-centered environment at no charge. Its how Shriners Hospitals has been helping kids defy the odds since 1922.