On the road again

By Jan Jarvis

Pediatric Mobile Clinic and staff

 

After being sidelined since May, the Pediatric Mobile Clinic is on the road again providing health care to uninsured children in Tarrant County.

The specially equipped Pediatric Mobile Clinic was parked in its usual spot near the UNT Health Science Center campus when it was struck overnight by another vehicle May 15. The electrical system was damaged and numerous parts had to be replaced, said Christina Robinson, MD, the clinic’s Medical Director.

But the loss of this clinic on wheels did not stop the Health Science Center team from delivering much needed services to children across Fort Worth. Without missing a beat, the staff got busy setting up makeshift clinics in schools, daycare centers and other facilities.

“We still had patients who needed us,” Dr. Robinson said. “Even though we didn’t have the mobile clinic, we were committed to delivering excellent care.”

In three months without the mobile clinic, the staff provided physicals, immunizations, screenings and exams to 373 children.  That’s the same number of children who were served during the same period last year when the mobile unit was in use, Dr. Robinson said.

Word spread quickly that services would continue even while the Pediatric Mobile Clinic was not available.

“We already had established relationships with some of the families in the community, and they were able to find us even though we weren’t as visible as we usually are,” Dr. Robinson said. “One of the benefits we have with the mobile pediatric unit is that families see us and know we are there to help.”

Since May 2014, when UNTHSC launched the mobile clinic, the staff has logged more than 10,384 patient visits to children in the Fort Worth neighborhoods of Morningside, Como, Stop Six and Northside. The team has administered more than 3,000 vaccines and more than 6,600 vision screenings.

“We’re very excited that the Pediatric Mobile Clinic is fixed, and we are looking forward to being out in the community doing what we do best,” Dr. Robinson said. “We want to make sure children in our community are healthy.”

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