A group of Minnesota Shriners is challenging the decision made by its national headquarters to close the Minneapolis-based Shriners Hospital for Children.
The Shriners joint boards of directors and trustees voted at their fourth quarter meeting to close the hospital by Dec. 31, 2003, citing a lack of patients and rising healthcare costs. A two-year study by the Shriners found the hospital is operating at 22% capacity.
The group, consisting of former Shriners board members and Shriners from nearby states, is hoping to save the 40-bed hospital. The committee will try to sway the opinions of the Shriners' 1,000 delegates who will vote on the proposed closing next summer at the annual convention. The plan to close the hospital needs a two-thirds majority approval. -- by Patrick Reilly