SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The Shriners have voted to accept insurance
money for the first time in their 87-year history in the hope of
keeping all of its children's hospitals open.
Rod Brown is chairman of the Shriners hospital in Greenville,
S.C. He says the group gave preliminary approval to the insurance
plan at its annual meeting in San Antonio, but no decision is final
until the close of the meeting on Thursday.
The Shriners have always provided care free of charge, using
their endowment to help whoever they can. But the endowment is now
badly depleted and could force the closure of some hospitals unless
the system makes changes.