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Shrine hospital evaluation clinic held in Geneva

A Shriners Hopital for Children—Twin Cities orthopaedic evaluation clinic took place Friday, April 9, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Fillmore County Hospital in Geneva. The Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn. provides comprehensive medical, surgical and rehabilitative care for children with orthopaedic conditions. This care is provided at no charge to patients or their families.

The main stop for Dr. Richard Aadalen and staff from the Shriners Hospitals—Twin Cities was the next day, Saturday, in Lincoln with over 90 established patients being evaluated. But, for the last dozen years or so, staff have ventured to out-state Nebraska to evaluate potential patients. Shriners Hospitals—Twin Cities staff, including Dr. Aadalen, physical therapist Kristen Olson, Shirley Komoto, R.N., and orthotist Wendy Gunelson, were on hand in Geneva on Friday. Another group was in Columbus. The last time an evaluation clinic occurred in Geneva was in 2002.

"We have started a plan to go out the day before and find more potential patients," said Steven Brunken, the Sesostris Shrine Temple Potentate from Lincoln. "We try to move the clinics around to different parts of the state. By getting out-state, we can identify more patients. This way, they don't have to travel to Lincoln or all the way to Minnesota.

"It also allows the family less time away from their jobs or makes it easier for family members. There's a lot more to it than just the cost of the trip."

About a dozen youth, age 17 or younger, were examined by Dr. Aadalen in Geneva on Friday afternoon. While the turn-out was a little lower than hoped, the good news was about half were accepted for potential no-cost treatment.

"The numbers accepted really depends on the clinic," Olson said. "It just depends on what stage the patients are in and if it is something we can treat or not."

A large group of local Shriners were on hand to assist with the operation of the clinic. Banjo the Clown from the Sesostris Temple in Lincoln was in Geneva to help keep everyone's spirits up. Sesostris Shrine Temple Vice Potentate Doug Gates came from Lincoln with Brunken to check in on the local clinic.

Shriners Hospitals for Children—Twin Cities is a 40-bed children’s hospital that combines quality medical care with innovative education and research. Located in Minneapolis, Minn., the hospital is one of 22 Shriners hospitals operated in the United States, Canada and Mexico by the Shrine fraternity. For additional information, please visit