This award has only been given three other times since it was founded in 2010. It recognizes innovations in mobile health, and it is hyper-rigorous. For one thing, there’s no application process: the VNA Foundation only selects those on its radar, and to get on that radar, an organization must stand out as innovative, unique, and impactful. From there, a non-profit has to be nominated by the Foundation’s Executive Director, and the award is granted via vote of the Foundation’s full board. The Anne M. Davis Mobile Health Award comes with a $10,000 prize.
Mobile Care Chicago received the award for two reasons: one, the Flex Van, the first of its kind in the country; second, because of our efforts to integrate our dental and medical programs through the expanded functions of our EHR systems, also a first for a mobile program.
Lastly: we wouldn’t have the means to be such an adaptable and innovative clinic without your continued support, so thank you!! Thanks to you, we’ve been able to continuously update our vans to be adaptable and safe, implement more efficient technologies in order to reach and retain patients who need us, and hire the best staff out there – all things that set us up to receive an award like this. We are truly grateful.
You can watch the conversation here and learn more about why MCC received this great recognition!
Each summer, after the close of Mobile Care Chicago’s fiscal year on June 30, our programs conduct an anonymous patient survey. We ask about a number of factors related to our mission, especially what we can do to continue to improve communication and convenience. The vast majority of our organization’s innovations are in response to suggestions from our families, creating an annual process of adaptation before the school year starts and our clinics again kick into high gear. For that reason, these past ten years, I’ve made time to read all of the hundreds of surveys personally.
As a free and charitable clinic, our survey always ends in the month meant to celebrate the vital role that we play in our Nation’s health infrastructure (August is Free & Charitable Clinic Month). Free clinics across the country provide safe, convenient, non-judgmental spaces for people seeking medical care. Without free clinics, many people who live in areas that lack medical infrastructure, or who avoid preventative visits because they’re uninsured or have barely-there private insurance, their primary source of medical access is an Emergency Department—the most expensive option that’s least capable of managing chronic conditions.
As one parent whose child has been using our clinics for six years wrote on their survey: “MCC has been giving us a great service, since we have been coming to the asthma van my daughter has not been in the emergency room. Thank you MCC!”
40% of our patients had used an Emergency Department in the year before joining their mobile unit. After one year in our programs, only 3% of those same patients had been back to an Emergency Department. That staggering contrast says something about the power of these clinics to change the trajectory of people’s health. Moreover, free clinics reverse a frustrating economic burden that, paradoxically, is placed on people least able to pay for it: the high cost of medical care in emergency settings. The average ED visit in Illinois cost $1,818 in 2017, which means that if we just take the 37% of our patients who were dependent on an ED and haven’t returned, across all of our programs, we saved the healthcare system a cool $3,796,202.16 last year. (Assuming we all believe that health care costs haven’t gone up in the last five years.)
If we focus specifically on asthma, one of the highest drivers of preventable health care costs including ED visits, the State of Illinois reports that asthma costs $3,266 per person per year. For each asthma patient we take on, we save the healthcare system $2,198.27.
We at Mobile Care don’t get any of those dollars (though, to be clear, we would take them if the State insisted), so the money itself isn’t the point. What’s represented is that free clinics are able to be a reliable source of medical care and, more importantly, health education that saves people from waiting until something gets so awful that they can’t continue normal activities. Moreover, what’s represented is that preventative care and health education, when offered without barriers like cost, transportation, long wait times, and in a language people can understand, it’s highly effective at making sure people get better and therefore don’t require emergency care. As another parent put it,
“The staff ensure that you feel welcomed and help you understand why they prescribe the meds and how they work. This helps a lot! Even the kids understand and are more willing to take the medications as directed. Thank you!”
As we celebrate free and charitable clinics this month, what strikes me most is their ability to reach people left out of the traditional health care system, and to facilitate sustained change in their health and wellness. Thank your continued support as we strive to reach as many people as possible this fiscal year with free, quality, preventative care.
A crucial part of our mission is to help children with asthma receive the free quality care they need. Even though it’s possible that some of you already know these facts, it’s important to highlight that asthma is still a concerning health situation that affects millions of Americans on a daily basis. Here are five of the most pressing facts about asthma. Let us know any other facts regarding this chronic illness. Information courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). 2019 National Health Interview Survey Data. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/nhis/2019/data.htm and Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Mobile Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Andrea Pappalardo participated in the NPR podcast “The 21st Show” on July 12th and addressed the extreme allergies that are in the air this year, arguably worse than the last five years. Dr. Pappalardo spoke with Brian Mackey about the growing number of allergy patients she encounters and the ever-growing quantity of allergens in the air. She breaks down the causes and the effects of allergens that enter the body and the concerning number of patients suffering from adverse allergic reactions. Listen to the full episode in the link below to learn more about how 2022 has shown to be a bad year for allergy patients and why there are new unprecedented factors in the allergy field.
Cheers for Children’s Health was a success thanks to our many sponsors and supporters. A source of constant support is Dedication Health. Phil Sheridan, one of Dedication Health’s Founders, also happens to be one of the founders of Mobile Care Chicago. He still supports MCC patients, is on the board of MCC, and generously sponsors our clinics with his Dedication Health co-founder John E. Croghan, MD. Dedication Health is a concierge clinic located in northern Illinois that provides premium patient-tailored healthcare. With their board certified physicians, Dedication Health makes sure to eliminate the hassle and constraints of traditional patient-doctor relationships, and provide superb medical attention. Being an important organization in Illinois medicine, Dedication Health shares the desire to provide quality healthcare for people in need.
The help received was highly useful in the execution of the Cheers for Children’s Health fundraising event. However, Dedication Health’s 3-year sponsorship is helping our existing clinics continue to serve disinvested communities, even in such difficult times. It’s because of these contributions that we can continue caring for children all around the Chicagoland area. With this enormous help, reaching 10,000 patients by 2023 is a much more attainable goal. Thank you Dedication Health!
Mobile Care Chicago is an incredible organization providing medical and dental services to children around Chicago whose only commonality is they are all “children in need of services” that the existing healthcare system in our country has failed to provide. Every child deserves to be treated effectively, efficiently and with compassion – Mobile Care does just that for any child in need.- Philip Sheridan, MD
The results are in! Thanks to everyone that contributed to Cheers for Children’s health, we were able to raise $55,240! We couldn’t have done this without all of your support!
We’d also like to extend our gratitude to our generous sponsors, for making this event possible. Thank you to Arya Consulting Partners, Financial Renaissance, Signature Bank, Lopez & Company, Concord Group, Dedication Health, Revolution Brewing FLATS and AirAnswers
Food allergies can cause some mysterious symptoms, including asthma symptoms. At MCC, food allergy tests have helped us figure out triggers for our patients, like Eve in our last post. Have you ever gotten a food allergy test?
Help us reach more kids with free asthma/allergy health services by attending our annual event at FLATS on June 9!
Another great story from our very own Asthma Van! ❤️ Eve’s family struggled to understand the root of her allergic reactions, and saw themselves in dire emergency situations constantly. Thankfully after some investigating, and Dr. Pappalardo’s medical intuition, the cause was found and Eve has been able to avoid any extreme allergic reactions ever since! With parent’s collaboration and the MCC staff, all patients can live a life without the distraction of pain from a chronic health condition.
Make sure to register for Cheers for Children’s Health to learn more about what our program does and how you can help!
This time our story comes from the Dental Van, where our five year old patient Stella has shown great improvement in her oral health. Her parents learned some key information on their visits to the Dental Van and two years after that initial appointment she’s no longer dealing with cavities! We’re happy to see another family get the information they need to ensure a healthier lifestyle.
Help support our program and the families that receive treatment by sharing our mission with others, donating and coming to our event June 9th! Register Here.
We’re raising $5,000 to educate and empower 900 more families on Mobile Care clinics by our event on June 9th!! Can you help us reach our goal?
We’ll be raising money to provide direct medical care to 10,000 families by 2023, and the money we raise through this campaign in particular will provide education to 900 families before our event on June 9!
Want to donate AND attend the event? Donate any amount and you’ll receive a registration code. Use the code to register before the event so we know you’re coming.
Tell me more about this fundraising event! Cheers for Children’s Health is our annual fundraising event. Admission includes drinks, food, and interactive games. Meet our board, our clinic staff, tour an MCC clinic, and enjoy the beautiful space FLATs has so kindly donated to us. The Duncan is an accessible, large outdoor space filled with lots of cozy seating. Cheers for Children’s Health is a family friendly event- feel free to bring your kids!
Okay I’m in! Where do I buy tickets again? Click here!! We can’t wait to see you on June 9th 🙂