Shriners Healthcare hosts free screening clinic

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Some kids in Hastings might be able to get the specialty medical care they need, thanks to continued efforts by local shriners.

Shriners Healthcare for Children hosted a free screening clinic Tuesday at the Masonic Temple in downtown Hastings. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

Shriners Healthcare for Children hosted their annual free screening clinic Tuesday at the Masonic Temple in downtown Hastings. The clinics are for kids with pediatric and orthopedic conditions.

A registered nurse talked with families about their child's condition, and evaluated them to see if they qualified for care at Shriners. They cover conditions such as neuromuscular disorders, spinal disorders, plastics, rheumatology and conditions that effect the lower and upper extremities.

"A screening is a lot more like a conversation that it is a formal medical exam. We really like to see what the family is concerned about, what we can visually see, and then continue on by taking their information back to the Twin Cities," said Sarah Von Petten, professional relations at Shriners Healthcare for Children.

Since the hospital is in Minneapolis, it can be difficult for families to afford travel costs on top of medical bills.

The goal is to help remove that financial barrier between families and that special care their child needs.

The local shriners raise money to pay for some of those costs. They don't only pay for transportation to the Twin Cities, but also drive them there. They also pay for lodging and food.

"Tehama currently has over, with the territory we cover, a little over 100 patients right now that we transport back and forth, their families and stuff," said Owen Nelson, Potentate at the Tehama Shrine. "We do that up to the age of 18. So it provides a tremendous value to the families."

Shriners Healthcare does bill family's insurance, but will help cover some of those out of pocket expenses if needed.

Shriners has been around for about 100 years and has 22 hospitals across the country.