The Shriner's Children's Hospitals may have to close some of the hospitals.
The system's board says it may ask the fraternity's membership in July for authority to close six hospitals -- including the one in Greenville -- largely because the endowment fund that supports the hospitals dropped from $8.5 billion to $5.2 billion over the last year as the stock market plummeted.
The others that could close are in Erie, Pennsylvania; Shreveport, Louisiana; Spokane, Washington; Springfield, Massachusetts; and Galveston, Texas. The Galveston hospital's operations have been suspended since Hurricane Ike flooded it last year. See map of where all 22 Shriners hospitals are »
Deflated investments aren't the only reason the fund has dropped. The hospitals normally operate with donations and the fund's interest, but the system's $856 million 2009 budget is outpacing both, causing the hospitals to take about $1 million per day from the fund, said Ralph Semb, president and CEO of Shriners Hospitals.
This is bad. These places provide care for a LOT of kids, and any of them closing will be a real problem for the kids currently there, and those who need help in the future.
Yeah, I'm heading to the yard; but I saw this and had to post on it.