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Shriners To Close Galveston Hospital, Sued by UTMB

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June 3, 2005 - Announcement that Shriners will rebuild Honolulu hospital.

August 7, 2007 - Groundbreaking for a new $73 million, state-of-the-art Shriners Hospitals for Children in Honolulu, Hawaii.

November 12, 2007 - Announcement that this PGA event has been renamed "Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open." Timberlake says he's excited to raise money for the kids. Ralph Semb is happiest about how Timberlake will bring "unprecedented amount of attention and interest to the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open" and does not mention fund raising.

January 4, 2008 - "Erie Shriners Hospital cuts staff" reports the Erie Times News. "Erie Shriners Hospital for Children can't recruit any full-time surgeons, so hospital administrators Thursday laid off the equivalent of 39 full-time employees. Thirty-five employees either retired or were laid off, while 35 others had their work hours reduced. The hospital now employs the equivalent of 108 full-time workers. The first layoffs in the Erie hospital's 80-year history."

January 4, 2008 - Cached article from Penn State Medical Center reports "Shriners has lost three full-time surgeons over the last two years, including chief of staff Jim Sanders, M.D., who left Dec. 14 to accept a job in Rochester, N.Y… A Shriners employee laid off Thursday said she couldn't talk to the Erie Times-News about her situation because her severance agreement includes a clause saying that she promises not to disparage the hospital."

June 14, 2008 - The Honolulu Star- Bulletin announces $73 million Honolulu Shriners Hospital ahead of schedule.

July 3, 2008 - Shriners announce ground breaking for new St. Louis hospital.

September 13, 2008 - Hurricane Ike damages and forces Galveston Shriners burns hospital to close.

October 16 – 19, 2008 - Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals Open broadcast on Golf channel. As Shriner leaders hang out with the rich and famous in Las Vegas, there is little or no mention of or attempt at fund raising to specifically rebuild Galveston or the dire financial situation that threatens hospitals.

October 21, 2008 - Press release about East West Game fails to mention Galveston emergency or need to raise money. First of eight East West game press releases that do not mention need to help Galveston SHC or fund raise to help keep other hospitals open.

November 11, 2008 - Shriners apply for FEMA disaster assistance.

December 15, 2008 - "Patients Represent Shriners Hospital at East West Shrine Football Game" promotes game with no mention of fund raising to help save Galveston or keep other hospitals open.

2008 – 2009 - Message from Imperial Potentate Douglas Maxwell discusses "Justin Timberlake/Shriners Hospitals for Children Las Vegas PGA Open." He drops names like Josh Duhamel of the "Vegas" TV Series, actor Greg Kinnear, professional pitcher Greg Maddux, Olympian Amanda Beard, and Ellen DeGeneres. The event got widespread publicity on "Entertainment Tonight" and in "Sports Illustrated" and he goes on to write about Planet Hollywood and how "Justin had a concert… 'Justin Timberlake and Friends'… to benefit our beloved Shriners hospitals. A few of the guest performers were the Jonas Brothers, Boyz to Men, Rhianna, and a special guest friend of Justin's, Lionel Ritchie, who was introduced as a Shriner. It was quite an event… Even Bill O'Riley, under his section on "Patriots and Pinheads", called Justin a patriot for supporting such a noble cause as Shriners Hospitals. All told, I've been informed that we have received more than $12 million dollars of publicity." There is no mention of the need to raise funds to save Galveston or address the dire situations that threatens other hospitals with closure.

January 16, 2009 - Shriners decide to "suspend operations indefinitely" at Galveston hospital.

January 20, 2009 - Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas makes first public announcement about the hospital's closure as she told the Houston-Galveston Area Council the hospital would not be open, saying she wanted the council to be aware of the anticipated further strain on the Harris County Hospital District.

January 21, 2009 - "Shriners delay new hospital construction" reports that Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis has delayed construction of a new $170 million hospital at the Washington University Medical Center campus as the international Shriners health system struggles with a budget shortfall. "It's the economy that's holding us back," said Ralph Semb. "We have to look at things we are spending money on that we don't necessarily have to. We can only afford to do so much."

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Investigative reporter, author and researcher into that which would rather remain hidden. U.S. Navy Electronics Tech vet, original shareholder of Ahtna, Inc, an Alaska Native corporation, Board of directors, Western Washington Pro Chapter of the (more...)
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