Shriner’s clinic saves patients the road trip

Posted By: Camila Orti

Patients of an orthopedic hospital in Minneapolis got treatment today without leaving Lincoln.

Doctors from the Shriner's Hospital for Children- Twin Cities came to St. Elizabeth's Regional Medical Center to see their Nebraska patients and save them the road trip. Shriners estimate the hospital has about 1,000 patients in the state.

It was 18–year–old Mira Bettendorf's last appointment with the Shriner's hospital.

“I just want to say simply, thank you for all the support and care–ness to help improve my life as a little person,” Mira said.

She's been a patient since she was in grade school to help treat bone malformation in her legs.

“Words can't describe how much they've treated me exceptionally well, I love all the staff, so caring,” Mira said.

Twice each year, doctors, physical therapists and other staff members from the Minneapolis hospital, specializing in children's orthopedics, make the trip to St. Elizabeth's. Organizers say anywhere from 60-90 patients will be seen throughout the day.

Rebecca Siebrandt is from Carroll, Neb. She says bringing her daughter to Lincoln for check-ups is much more convenient.

“For us to go to Minneapolis it's about six to seven hours, so it's wonderful to be able to come to Lincoln where it's only 2.5 and get the great care that we can get there here in town,” Siebrandt said.

About 11 staff members drive down for the day for routine check-ups and appointments. Shriners, clowns and therapy dogs also fill the waiting room and hallways to make sure everyone is smiling.

“We have fun with a purpose, and our purpose is helping kids, so whenever we do these types of events we want it to be as fun as it possibly can be,” Shriner Drew Borske said.

The Shriner's Hospital has been partnering with St. Elizabeth's to run the clinic for nearly 30 years.

Mira says she'll be sad to say goodbye.

“They will find a way to always brighten you up, bring a smile to your face and it's just wonderful,” Mira said.