Shriner Magazine Spring 2023

A Message from Your Imperial Potentate


Everyone can relate to the phrase “Back in the Game.” We use it to describe how the care and support Shriners Children’s provides helps our patients return to the games and sports they love. But the phrase means more than just that. It describes our goal of helping each patient discover their potential and achieve their goals – helping them get back in their game, back to their life. Every year, our signature events, including the East-West Shrine Bowl™, Shriners Children’s Open™, Shriners Children’s College Classic™ and Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic™ raise the profile of both Shriners Inter- national and Shriners Children’s, and generate funds in support of our organizations. These events strengthen our position in “the game,” and, again, help us to help our patients find their way back to “their game.” The phrase also applies to membership – every one of us needs to either “Stay in the Game” or get “Back

in the Game” of reaching out to others and inviting them to join us in the work, fun and fel- lowship of our amazing fraternity. We also need to be sure we are being as active and involved in both the fraternity and philanthropy as possible. Our future depends on our commitment and dedication to “our game.” I am reminded of the well-known quote of Hall of Fame football coach and motivational speaker Joe Gibbs: “You win with people!” Every single one of you is valued, needed and important. Only with the effort and commitment of every one of us will we meet our goals and further our mission. Thank you for all you do for the Shriners organizations.

Kenneth G. "Kenny" Craven Imperial Potentate, Shriners International

Yours in the faith, Kenneth G. “Kenny” Craven

A Message from the Chairman of the Board of Trustees


In 2022, our healthcare system provided care for 57,987 new patients who now know the unique brand of hope and healing that can only be found at Shriners Children’s. We want to offer our compassionate, life- changing care to as many children who need it as we can, regardless of where they live. That’s the goal of the More Kids in More Places initiative. Our telehealth program, international strate- gies, outreach clinics and increased emphasis on community affiliations are all part of a major effort to reach More Kids in More Places, and pro- vide care closer to their homes. These efforts also establish additional access points, or ways and places to obtain care from Shriners Children’s. Our goal of reaching more kids includes estab- lishing three more clinics that will be affiliated with quality hospitals in Mexico later this year. This will take some pressure off our hospital in Mexico City, especially in serving children from Latin America.

A huge goal of our international strategy, that I am truly excited about, is placing more emphasis on training local medical professionals to provide specialized care in their country, rather than just sending our medical staff to do the work. For example, Michael Wattenbarger, M.D., from our Greenville location, recently traveled to San Salvador in El Salvador, to present a semi- nar on spine surgery and train local doctors and nurses in these sophisticated orthopedic surgical procedures. We are also working toward having an educational program in orthotics and pros- thetics at the University of Panama. These initiatives truly highlight the mission of Shriners Children’s – and we greatly appreciate the support of both the fraternity and philan- thropy as we move forward.

Jerry G. Gantt Chairman, Board of Trustees, Shriners Children’s

Yours in the faith, Jerry G. Gantt



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