Did you know?  The Greenville Shriners Hospital is the ONLY hospital in the Shriners Hospitals for Children system that was NOT built by the Shrine!

Here’s our hospital’s history:

Greenville HospitalOldIn planning for the Shriners Hospitals, the Imperial Board of Trustees did not plan to put a hospital in South Carolina.  They planned to place the hospitals so that each section of the country could be served.  The nearby Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, treated children from several adjacent states, and it seemed likely that this tradition would continue. However, because of the large number of applications for admissions to the Scottish Rite Hospital from children in South Carolina, Noble Forest Adair of Atlanta, felt a similar hospital in South Carolina was necessary.

Noble Forest Adair tried to interest various people in the project, and gave several presentations before Hejaz Temple, located in Greenville.  A local Greenville businessman, W. W. Burgiss, along with J. B. Duke, and B.E. Geer, all involved with the Burgiss Charities, agreed with the need for such a facility, and stepped forward to pledge $350,000 to build and equip a hospital in Greenville.

When Burgiss Charities were short by about $35,000 of their pledge of $350,000, Hejaz Temple came to the rescue.  Hejaz Temple borrowed $35,000, and loaned the money to the Burgiss Charities for the completion of the Greenville Hospital.

The Greenville Hospital is the only unit in the Shrine system that was not built by the Shrine.  Mr. W. W. Burgiss had only one stipulation when he agreed to build and equip the hospital — that it be used to serve children.

The location chosen to build the original Shriners Hospital in Greenville was on Pleasantburg Drive.  Dedication ceremonies for the Greenville Hospital were held on September 26th in 1927.  A large parade was held in which the uniform units of Yaarab, Oasis, Omar, and Hejaz Temples participated.  The entire city of Greenville turned out to celebrate the opening of the hospital. OldHospital

It was in 1942 that the governing board of the Hospital was expanded and added representatives from Kerbela, Alee, and Sudan Temples.  Of course, now the hospital is governed by representative from eighteen temples, all from the six states in the southeast that the Hospital serves:  South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.

The original Greenville Hospital saw many renovations and changes over the years, but finally in the late 1980’s, it became apparent that the facility could not hold the growth experienced by the Greenville Shriners Hospital.

A location near the medical campus of Greenville Memorial Hospital was chosen, and in 1989, the new and present Greenville Shriners Hospital was dedicated.

Greenville Shriners Hospital

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Kazim Shrine Klowns

by Shriners on July 10, 2014

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Patient Hunter Jarman Gives Back

by Shriners on July 8, 2014

Hunter with Dr. Mendelow

Hunter with Dr. Mendelow

After having 18 surgeries at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, Hunter Jarman has the routine down pat. His favorite part is when the nurses in the pre-op holding area roll out a big red wagon full of toys for patients to pick from before they go into the operating room. The toy will be waiting for them when they wake up. As Hunter became older, he noticed something was missing from the wagon.Hunter has been a patient at the Greenville Shriners Hospital for nearly ten years where he receives expert pediatric orthopaedic care for infantile idiopathic scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. As a very young child with a severe curvature, Hunter was placed in Risser casts to help manage his curve while he continued to grow. A Risser cast is a plaster cast that is applied from the collarbone to the bottom of the spine. When the cast is applied, pressure is placed on the cast causing the spine to straighten. When the cast hardens, it holds the spine in this position. Each cast progressively straightens the patient’s spine. In all, Hunter wore 15 Risser casts.

Hunter's back before and after his spine surgery

Hunter’s back before and after his spine surgery

With the curvature beginning to penetrate the area of the chest where his lungs would be, in November 2013, Hunter had growing rods implanted into his spine. Growing rods are two telescoping rods that can be lengthened every six months to maintain correction as the child grows. Growing rods are recommended for pre-teen and teenage patients who have a high degree curvature and who have a significant amount of growing still left. Hunter’s mom, Pam, says, “With only one lengthening so far, Hunter has grown seven inches and the rods have taken his 143 degree curve down to about 60 degrees. He is able to breathe better with the pressure off the lungs. It is such a good thing that these surgeries can help him feel better each day.” Hunter will continue to have surgery every four to six months until he is finished growing. At that time, his spine will be fused with permanent rods, hooks, and screws.

When Hunter returned for his most recent surgery, his second growing rods lengthening, he brought a surprise for the surgical services nurses. He noticed that as he was getting older, the toys in the red wagon they brought out were mostly for younger children. When Hunter asked about this, he was told that most toy donations to the hospital are for younger kids. Hunter went home to Lynchburg, Virginia, and hatched a plan. Hunter explains, “The Greenville Shriners has the best team of doctors and staff anyone could ever ask for. Each child is treated so special and that helps make the hospital experience less scary. I wanted to do something to help the other patients having surgery and to let them know it is going to be ok and they will be well taken care of.” Hunter worked hard going to stores in his community asking them to donate items for teenage patients and raising money to buy additional. Meanwhile, his sister made pillows from fun fabrics. The pre-op holding area nurses were overjoyed when Hunter presented his gifts. Bobbi Andrews, RN, surgical services nurse says, “The toys Hunter brought will brighten up the day for so many of our patients. When they come upstairs to the operating room, many times the kids are scared. A simple toy can help relieve so much stress. Hunter has such a tender and caring heart. He is always so brave and knows everyone here at the Greenville Shriners Hospital loves and cares for him so much.”

Pam says giving back to the hospital was an easy decision, “This hospital means so much to us! The quality care and treatment Hunter receives mean everything. Our family loves everyone at this hospital and everyone cares so much for Hunter. Everyone here would do anything to make Hunter feel better and be happy. Hunter has such a good bond with all the staff and he trusts everyone here to take care of him. This makes waiting in the surgery waiting room so much easier for us.”

Hunter with some of SHC-G surgical services staff

Hunter with some of SHC-G surgical services staff

Along with scoliosis, Hunter also has ocular albinism, asthma, mitral valve insufficiency, and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a congenital connective tissue disorder. Hunter is treated for these conditions at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and was the 2013 Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s Virginia State Champion.

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sparklerSummertime and the livin’ is . . . HOT! As the July 4th holiday approaches, the Greenville Shriners Hospital is reminding the public of the potential for injuries posed by the nonprofessional use of fireworks.

We strongly recommend that families only attend fireworks displays run by professionals and avoid using fireworks near the home.  Class C fireworks, which include sparklers, firecrackers, party poppers, snappers and cherry bombs, are often falsely perceived as “safe for civilian use,” and obtained and set off by amateurs. Seemingly “safe” fireworks, such as sparklers, burn at a dangerously high temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt glass and can produce third-degree burns. Firecrackers and sparklers cause the greatest number of injuries in children aged 14 and younger, and burns often involve the hands, face, arms, and chest areas.

Summer should be a time of enjoyment and relaxation. Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville would like to remind parents and caretakers to play it safe this July 4th and leave the fireworks to the professionals.


Volunteer Retirement Party

by Shriners on June 26, 2014

Several Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville volunteers were recently honored for their commitment and dedication to the hospital. As these volunteers are no longer able to serve the hospital in a volunteer capacity, the Greenville Shriners Hospital wanted to let them know how much they’ve meant to our patients and how we appreciate their service. More than 100 volunteers and staff came to the reception to honor: Gwen Darby, Jerry Davis, and Herb Fetherlin; and in loving memory of Bob Harper, Dean McAllister, and Harold Davis.

Gwen Darby –2,400 volunteer hours

Jerry Davis – 2,275 volunteer hours

Herb Fetherlin – 2,800 volunteer hours (Hejaz Shriner)

In loving memory of Bob Harper – 6,000 volunteer hours (Hejaz Shriner)

In loving memory of Dean McAllister – 3,600 volunteer hours

In loving memory of Harold Davis – 4,000 volunteer hours and 115 trips as a Road Runner (Hejaz Shriner)

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Summer Safety Series – Part 4

by Shriners on June 25, 2014

ATV Safety

The thrill and excitement of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) draws the attention of most children. However, due to their instability, ATV riding should be left to adults only. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons have adopted formal policies recommending children under age 16 not drive ATVs. Children and young teens lack the knowledge, physical size, strength, and cognitive skills to operate and drive an ATV safely. Also, ATVs are not made for passengers. While it may seem like there is enough room, an extra person will interfere with normal operation. The added weight will also complicate the handling of the ATV up and down slopes, around curves, and with stopping distances. Here are a few safety tips to remember if you or a family member is riding an ATV this summer:

  • Never ride on a paved road.
  • Never let a child drive the ATV.
  • Always wear head and eye protection.
  • Always tell someone exactly where you will be riding.
  • Wear appropriate clothing to protect against scratches and scrapes.
  • Always keep feet firmly on footrest to help maintain balance and control.
  • It is recommended that children under 6 years of age should not ride any ATV with an engine greater than 70CC.
  • Children under 12 should only ride ATVs with an engine between 70 and 90CC.



Summer Vacation Safety Series – Part 3

by Shriners on June 18, 2014

SwimmingMake a Safe Splash

While playing poolside may be a blast, the Safe Kids Worldwide organization reveals that drowning is the leading injury-related cause of death for children between 1-4 years of age. Fill your family’s summer days with these safe practices around the water:

  • Teach children to never go near or in the water without an adult present. Children and adults should never swim alone.
  • Give children your undivided attention when they are swimming or near any body of water.
  • Always have your children wear a Coast Guard approved, properly fitting life jacket while on a boat, around an open body of water or when participating in water sports.

Personal Watercraft Safety

Many families will spend lots of time at the lake or beach this summer. But, if your water plans include using a personal watercraft (PWC), such as a jet ski, there are a few things you should know. While they can provide hours of thrilling fun, PWCs are definitely not toys. Each year, Shriners Hospitals for Children treats kids who were seriously injured in PWC accidents. Before a driver takes off at a high speed across the water, remember children can easily lose their grip and slip off the back of the watercraft. However, passengers should never ride in front of the PWC driver. Here are a few tips to make sure you are having safe fun in the sun:

  •  The operator and every passenger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Always attach the engine cutoff lanyard to your wrist to make sure your PWC stops if you fall off.
  • Scan the waterway constantly for people, objects, and other watercrafts.
  • Know the boating laws for your state, including speed limits.


T. Whitney Gibson, D.O., pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, has devoted his medical practice to alleviating the long-term disabilities that can result from youth sports injuries. In fact, since joining the medical staff at the Greenville hospital, Dr. Gibson has performed arthroscopic surgeries not previously available in the Upstate area.

Arthroscopic surgery is performed on the interior of a joint using an endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision. Dr. Gibson’s arthroscopic procedures can mean the difference between a child sitting on the sidelines with an injury and recovering in order to get back into the game.

Growth plates are areas of cartilage around a child’s joints that determine the length of the connected bones once the child is fully grown. A child’s growth plates and stabilizing cartilage can be dislocated or stretched when he or she engages in overly strenuous activities or encounters an overly aggressive opponent.

Dr. Gibson explained that traditional treatment strategies, such as bracing and rehabilitation, often delay surgery until the child reaches physical maturity. But in these instances, the child’s developing growth plates often close before surgery happens. This means that the patient might not be able to participate in sports or other activities that could further injure the already-damaged joint. The joint also may remain unstable and prone to further injury and even arthritis.

Why the Focus on Arthroscopy?

Dr. Gibson said the number of child athletes increased from 4 million in 1972 to more than 7 million in 2006. This uptick has inevitably led to more youth sports injuries.

The variation in growth and development among children who are competing against one another can lead to serious injury, as well. “Children develop differently and some mature earlier than others,” said Dr. Gibson. “You can look at any middle school class picture and see children who are chronologically the same age, but who are developmentally diverse.”

Exceptional Care

Dr. Gibson’s arthroscopic surgeries enable Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Greenville patients to engage in physical activity and even play competitively again. By combining his experience in the area of sports medicine with his knowledge and training in pediatric orthopaedics, Dr. Gibson provides specialty care for children and adolescents with sports related pathology.  Dr. Gibson works with state-of-the-art equipment specifically designed for the pediatric population.


Happy Father’s Day!

by Shriners on June 13, 2014

If you know a dad of a child receiving care at our hospitals? You can make them a free printable Father’s Day card from the about.com special needs parenting blog: http://specialchildren.about.com/od/needinspiration/ig/Love-Notes-Cards/You-Are-Strong-Card.htm

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Summer Vacation Safety Series – Part 2

by Shriners on June 11, 2014

Mowing Matters

While it may seem like just a common household tool, thousands of children are injured in lawn mower accidents each year, some with severe effects.

To prevent injuries to children and adults while using a lawnmower, please follow these safety tips:

  • Never allow passengers on a riding lawnmower.
  • Keep children indoors while mowing the lawn.
  • It is recommended that children under 14 years of age never operate a lawnmower.
  • Always make sure sticks, rocks, toys, or other objects are not in the path of the mower.
  • Always use a mower with an automatic blade cut-off. Stay behind the handle until the blade stops rotating.
  • Never reach under a mower while it is operating.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes.

Fire Safety

Every hour, approximately 16 children are injured from fires or burns, according to the Safe Kids Worldwide organization. Use these tips to keep your little ones safe around fireworks, grills and other heat sources:

  • Teach kids never to play with matches, gasoline, lighter fluid or lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.
  • Do not leave children unattended near grills, campfires, fire pits or bonfires. Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby when burning fires.
  • To ensure a safe celebration, leave fireworks to the professionals.

If your child is injured by fire or fireworks, immediately take them to a doctor or hospital.