Whidbey children with orthopedic problems get free screening

Whidbey Island children who may benefit from orthopedic specialty care regardless of their family’s ability to pay are welcome at a free screening clinic Nov. 12 at United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley.

Hosted by the Shriners organization, the clinic will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Puget Cancer Center at United General Hospital, 2000 Hospital Drive, Sedro-Woolley.

A physician from United General will screen children during the clinic. Those identified for further evaluation will be referred to the Shriners’ Hospital in Spokane. Children from Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties are welcome. No appointment is necessary although a parent or adult guardian is required.

Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane treats children from ages 0 to 18 from Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Western Canada who have bone or joint injuries, sports injuries, cerebral palsy, scoliosis, hand or foot disorders and many other orthopedic conditions. Surgeons and staff provide a full range of inpatient and outpatient services and treatment regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

For more information, contact the clinic coordinator, Lt. Col. Eugene “Gene” Gilbert, at 675-1269.

Gilbert, an Oak Harbor resident, said several Whidbey Island children are already being helped by the Shriners’ program. “It’s a rewarding task,” he said of organizing the screening and helping kids.

He pointed out that this year there is a new program dealing with sports injuries in schools. The Nov. 12 clinic is the first step toward medical assistance. “We’ll get them started,” Gilbert said. “And we can help with transportation.”


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