Gifts keep Pediatric Mobile Clinic’s wheels turning
By Alex Branch
Obstacle after obstacle kept a 1-year-old Texas boy from getting regular health checkups.
He lived with his grandmother, who neither speaks English nor drives a car. His family didn’t qualify for Medicaid, and his grandmother didn’t know where she could take him for wellness checks. The only time he received medical care was when he was really sick.
Until the family discovered the Pediatric Mobile Clinic, an innovative UNT Health Science Center clinic on wheels that delivers medical services directly to underserved neighborhoods across Fort Worth. The grandmother said she was stunned at how easy it was to get her grandson a checkup and his immunizations up to date.
Since 2014, the UNTHSC mobile clinic medical team has made more than 7,800 medical, health education and case management visits with disadvantaged children in Fort Worth and beyond. But that impact would not have happened without the generous support of the community.
Two recent gifts from nonprofit organizations will help UNTHSC provide health services to some of the estimated 75,000 uninsured children in Tarrant County. Capital for Kids gave $17,500 and Speedway Children’s Charities gave $11,000 to support the mobile clinic’s mission.
It was the second year that Capital for Kids made a gift to the mobile clinic, said Bart Bonney, a board member for the organization. The nonprofit has a mission to support causes that protect, educate and encourage the most vulnerable North Texas children.
“Supporting the Pediatric Mobile Clinic is a direct way for us to be involved in delivery of health care to our most at-risk children in North Texas,” Bonney said. “The clinic is very metric driven, and we know exactly how and what services are delivered to the community. It’s a great investment.”
Speedway Children’s Charities, which strives to “care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives,” made its first gift to the mobile clinic in December.
“The UNT Health Science Center Pediatric Mobile Clinic is a manifestation of the core values of Speedway Children’s Charities,” said Carl “Scooter” Gierisch Jr., president of the Board of Trustees for Speedway Children’s Charities. “We believe every child in North Texas deserves quality medical care in order to lead a productive life and the PMC program brings that opportunity directly to those who need it most.”
Because of the gifts, children at schools, community centers, churches and other organizations will continue to receive high-quality care.
“Without the community’s generosity, we would not be able to provide vital health care services to the children of Fort Worth and surrounding areas,” said Ana Luz Chiapa-Scifres, MS, MPH, the program manager. “These gifts are the reason we are able to do what we do and help make a difference in a child’s life.”