Valley of Salina Scottish Rite Masons rededicate Herndon Clinic as a RiteCare®facility


04/11/12 ks l

HAYS, Kan. -- Scottish Rite Masons from the Valley of Salina, Orient of Kansas, rededicated the Herndon Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at Fort Hays State University as a Rite Care facility to help children communicate.

The Kansas Scottish Rite Foundation first dedicated the Herndon Clinic as a RiteCare®facility in 2008, pledging $10,000 a year to the clinic to provide therapy for children who otherwise would not be able to afford care. Funding was increased to $15,000 in 2011.

In a ceremony this afternoon in Albertson Hall, the clinic's home on the FHSU campus, Timothy Fowler, a 32nd-degree Mason and the executive secretary of the Valley of Salina, read a proclamation rededicating the clinic as a RiteCare facility. The Herndon Clinic is operated by the Department of Communication Disorders at FHSU.

"We want everyone to know that we support the work done at the Herndon Clinic, and that we pledge to assist the clinic in any way possible to continue in its mission to treat children with disorders in speech, language or hearing," said Fowler.

FHSU President Edward H.Hammond thanked Fowler and the Kansas Scottish Rite Foundation for their support of the clinic and its work, not only in treatment and rehabilitation but in educating the speech-language-hearing professionals of tomorrow.

"This is another great example where a public-private collaboration involving Fort Hays State University results in providing a wonderful service to the citizens of Kansas while at the same time fulfilling our mission to produce the professionals that the state and nation will need in the years to come," he said.

"We are not only grateful that the Scottish Rite Masons of Kansas and the Valley of Salina in particular have decided to support the Herndon Clinic, but we also take pride in the fact that they have chosen to support our speech-language programs here."

Scottish RiteMasons use the term "valley" to designate local groups with in thestate. The Valley of Salina encompasses all of northwest Kansas.

"This collaborative effort between Fort Hays State University and Scottish Rite of Kansas is the perfect example of what can be accomplished when entities with common goals work together to meet specific needs," said Dr. Jeff Briggs, dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences.

"I see first hand the tremendous impact that the services provided have on the children we serve as they grow their language and communication skills," he said. "In addition, Fort Hays State University students cultivate advanced clinical skills while fostering the development of our clients and then, upon graduation, take that expertise into various clinical settings in Kansas and beyond. The impact of the partnership extends well beyond the borders of our campus."

Dr. Amy Finch, chair of the Department of Communication Disorders, noted that support from the Kansas Scottish Rite Foundation is specifically used to provide "scholarships" for children who need speech-language services but whose families cannot afford either the full cost or part of the cost.

"This is a critical part of our clinic's funding because we are finding that we have referrals form any more families who cannot afford to pay for services," she said. "Since we are a university clinic, we cannot bill Medicaid for these services if the children have Medicaid funding. We always have more referrals for the scholarships than we can provide."

Fowler, from Solomon, and Don Hamilton, Salina, a 33rd-degree Mason who is almoner for the Valley of Salina, also made a special presentation of $1,000 from the Knights of St. Andrew, an organization within the Scottish Rite designed to get new members involved.

Hamilton's role as almoner, said Fowler, is to "actively seek out people who need help, Masonor non-Mason, to provide help where he deems necessary and to make sure that the recipient does not know from whom the help is coming."

Fowler also noted the presence of Hugh Gill III, Wichita, a 33rd-degree Mason who is the Sovereign Grand Inspector General for the Orient of Kansas.

The final act in there dedication ceremony was unveiling a handsome bronze plaque in the HerndonClinic marking the clinic as a RiteCare facility.

RiteCare is the name chosen by the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., for the philanthropy of providing funding for the care of children with disorders in speech, language, hearing orcombinations of disorders. Three other clinics in Kansas have the RiteCare designation: one at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City; the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at the University of Kansas, Lawrence; and the Cassat Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at Wichita State University.

About 170 RiteCare programs are operating throughout the United States, providing individualized assessment and intervention programs focusing on the speech, language and literacy needs of children.

For more information on language and literacy for preschool and school-aged children from Hays and the surrounding area, call (785) 628-5366.


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