Shriners Doctors Travel to Lincoln For Clinic

Outpatient Clinic at St. Elizabeth Medical Center
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The closest Shriners Hospital for Children is more than six hours away in Minneapolis. Instead of traveling up there for health care, more than 70 kids got a break this weekend with the doctors coming down here.

The dogs brought in by the Shriners don't necessarily take the pain away, but they help patients think of other things.

"It helps kids keep their minds off going to the doctor. It's a fun and an exciting experience," said Patti McConnell, the guardian of Tyler Lemcke.

"I have cerebral palsy," said Lemcke.

"His left side doesn't work as well as the right side when he was born. He walks on his toes," said McConnell.

Saturday, doctors from the Minnesota Shriners Hospital for Children checked his brace. Twice a year, Shriners doctors and their staff set up an outpatient clinic at St. Elizabeth hospital. With the treatment comes goody bags, funny clowns, and cute dogs.

"We will see them and get x-rays and see them if they need physical therapy and we have orthotics here," said Dr. Cary Mielke.

It's a free service for these patients until they're 19 years old. Without the service, McConnell doesn't know what she would have done for Tyler.

"Because Shriners diagnosed him with cerebral palsy. We had no idea what it was," said McConnell.

Saturday's clinic was only focused on orthopedics, but Shriners hospitals also specialize in burns and cleft palates.