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Mobile Care Chicago Names Matt Siemer as New Executive Director

mattMobile Care Chicago has named Matt Siemer, most recently Mobile Care’s Director of Operations, to the position of Executive Director. The transition is part of a larger strategy to deepen the organization’s commitment to managing chronic diseases in children, both through innovations in Mobile Care’s current Asthma and Dental programs as well as through new collaborations within Chicago’s changing healthcare landscape.

“Unmanaged chronic diseases are among the top drivers of skyrocketing healthcare costs in Chicago,” says Board Chair Jonathan Weatherly. “For years Mobile Care’s Asthma and Dental Vans have demonstrated that when given access to the same specialty care as their higher income peers, children from underserved neighborhoods thrive and the whole city of Chicago benefits from their greater activity, alertness, and lack of time spent in Emergency Departments. Yet we’re seeing that for many children it’s harder than ever to access urgently needed quality care. We must do more, and no one understands how to drive our mission forward better than Matt.”

“It’s been an honor to work alongside such a dedicated and passionate staff, not to mention a Board that each year thinks strategically and deeply about our mission and growth,” says Matt Siemer. “We’re all committed to meeting the needs of our patients and reaching a greater number of kids currently unable to receive adequate health care. No child with a chronic condition should be without medical care, and I’m excited to continue Mobile Care’s remarkable success reaching those kids.”

Mobile Care’s Asthma Vans and Dental Vans currently provide initial screenings to over 20,000 children annually, and adopted the on-going specialty care of 2,000 children with chronic conditions last year. During its 17 year history, Mobile Care’s clinics have consistently cut ER use and hospitalization for its patients to near zero while asthma and dental carries have remained the top causes of preventable Emergency Department utilization in Cook County.

Matt Siemer has been with Mobile Care for nearly five years, serving the last four as Director of Operations. During that time, in addition to managing operations and fundraising, he shepherded the Board through the organization’s current Strategic Plan and implemented the launch of both the Mobile Dental Program and the Children’s Health Van through a landmark partnership with Presence Health.

Meepware Designs Ways to Help Kids with Asthma

When Chase and Julian Mazzier started the Meepware t-shirt line a year ago, they had a creative plan to give back, while also learning how to run a business.

Drawing on the power of the Meep, a fictitious word that can sub in for a noun, verb, or adjective to boost the fun level in any utterance, Chase and Julian began designing and selling t-shirts, donating the proceeds to Mobile Care. “We can relate to the kids that come to the van in that I have asthma and allergies and Julian my brother has a food allergy,” Chase says. “We thought it was the perfect choice.” Chase and Julian recently stopped by the Asthma Van to present Mobile Care with a $500 donation check and complementary shirts for Asthma Van patients.

Using creative tags like “The Meepball is in the Sauce” and “Dude W. T. Meep” over vividly colored shirts, Meepware has become a phenomenon—promoted online through a website Chase and Julian designed themselves, and sold at mini events orchestrated by the brothers. “The most fun part in my opinion has been doing our mini events where we sell them at yard sales or block parties,” Chase says. And they’re planning more. This year, Meepware is coming out with a new line, featuring collaborations with guest designers.

Chase and Julian first heard about the Asthma Van through their allergist (and Mobile Care co-founder), Dr. Paul Detjen. “We have been going to Dr. Detjen for a very long time. I still go to him for allergy shots every other week,” says Chase. Since Dr. Detjen also volunteers his time to train Mobile Care’s Asthma Van staff, Mobile Care’s patients can expect the same high level of care that Chase and Julian receive, care that allows them to live healthy and active lives, which in the case of Chase and Julian means travel soccer and music.

Mobile Care asked Chase if he had any words of wisdom for other people with asthma. “My advice is to listen to and trust your allergist and to not give in to your asthma,” he says, “and to not let your asthma control your life.” Wise words, indeed. Many thanks to Chase and Julian Mazzier – giving back, one meep at a time!

Asthma Vans Win ALA’s 2016 Impact Award

The American Lung Association in Greater Chicago named Mobile Care Chicago the 2016 Impact Award winner!

The honor came as a recognition not only of the Asthma Vans’ 16 year history of adopting the medical care for children otherwise unable to access the healthcare system, but also for our work transitioning children from the Emergency Department out to preventative care. Since Mobile Care’s Asthma Educators started working with Roseland Community Hospital two years ago, their pediatric asthma admittance rate has been cut by 58%.

Last year, Mobile Care’s Asthma Vans adopted the specialty care of 1,086 children–many of whom had no access to an asthma and allergy specialist before coming to Mobile Care. After joining the program, 94% of patients reported no visits to Emergency Departments for asthma. The Asthma Vans also surveyed 11,049 children for asthma in low-income areas where an asthma diagnosis is widely unavailable.

Tim Egan accepts the ALA's 2016 Impact Award

CEO Tim Egan accepts the ALA’s 2016 Impact Award

We can help an even greater number of children. Make a gift to continue this Award-Winning work! 

Learn more about our Asthma Van Program!

Mobile Care Launches Children’s Health Van, Partnership with Presence Health

On September 23rd, Mobile Care Chicago and Presence Health will launch a new mobile clinic called the “Children’s Health Van” to help low-income children receive access to an impressive range of medical services including immunizations and child physicals, in addition to Mobile Care’s existing specialty care for children with asthma and allergies.

“Every year there are children kept out of CPS schools for lack of required immunizations and physicals,” explained Mobile Care’s CEO, Tim Egan. “Overwhelmingly, these children are in low-income areas where access is a barrier. The result is that kids already at an economic disadvantage are seeing that barrier impact their school attendance and health. Our goal, as always, is to knock down that barrier.”

Nearly 15,000 children were kept out of CPS schools in 2014 because they were not compliant with state mandates, and nearly 45,000 children were in jeopardy of medical suspension. The gap in health care access is often due to the absence of a reliable Primary Care Provider (PCP), an issue which Presence Health can address.

Presence Health will allow Mobile Care Chicago to make referrals to PCP’s inside of its service area, allowing the new Children’s Health Van to treat both the immediate need of the child and the systemic need for on-going access to a health care provider. The initial service range for the expansion will coincide with the service area for Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center.

Mobile Care Chicago is a non-profit organization which provides no-cost medical and preventative care, education, and support to low-income children and families aboard mobile clinics. The organization maintains, in addition to the Children’s Health Van, an Asthma Van and two Dental Vans. All told, Mobile Care Chicago’s clinics provide health care to over 5,000 children per year.

Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system based in Illinois, offering more than 150 locations around the state. Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center has been delivering compassionate medical care for over 100 years, and now includes 500 physicians in 40 specialties.

For more information, please contact Matt Siemer, Director of Operations, at msiemer@mobilecarefoundation.org

Meet our Second Dental Van

Yesterday, our new Dental Van made its way to Chicago, joining a mobile clinic fleet which includes two Asthma Vans and Mobile Care’s first Dental Van launched in 2014. Through all of Mobile Care’s clinics combined, an estimated 7,000 low-income children will receive no-cost health care this year. The new “Dental Van 2” houses three full-service operatories so that children can be seen quickly without sacrificing the high standard of care which Mobile Care Chicago is known for.


Both Dental Vans will converge on Chicago-area schools and head start programs this year to provide comprehensive oral health care to over 5,000 low-income children.


The addition of Mobile Care’s second Dental Van was made possible through a challenge grant from the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation. If you’re interested in joining the Dental Van 3 Committee, which will serve as the strategic back-bone for Mobile Care’s third Dental Van, email Matt Siemer, Director of Operations, at msiemer@mobilecarefoundation.org!

Read what Mobile Care CEO Tim Egan had to say about the launch of Dental Van 2

Mobile Care recently changed its name! Learn about this important decision, and its impact on Chicago’s children

Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation is now Mobile Care Chicago

Now introducing Mobile Care Chicago!

In conjunction with its 15th Anniversary, Mobile Care has decided to update its name—from Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation to Mobile Care Chicago.

Mobile Care, no matter the name, has always been an organization singularly focused on one thing: providing high quality medical care to children whom otherwise could not access it. Mobile Care does this through a mobile platform because it allows the organization to reach working families who can’t commute, and partner with schools where neighborhood kids can be easily treated without undue interruption of their school day.

As such, the organization’s work is best expressed through Mobile Care Chicago, since it uses Mobile clinics to provide medical Care in Chicago. The old name, though near and dear, too often confused people with the word “Foundation”—a word which in 1998 was associated with any consortium working toward a common goal, but in contemporary parlance has a narrower “grantmaking” connotation that isn’t accurate for Mobile Care.

So what do you think of the new name and logo? Feel free to let us know through our facebook page!

And in the meantime, the staff will continue its work to bring medical care to Chicago’s low-income children.

In other big news, we’re adding a second Dental Van!

Mobile Care Chicago to Add Second Dental Van!

Mobile Care Chicago is excited to announce the launch of its second mobile dental clinic, providing a no-cost dental home to low-income children throughout the city of Chicago. Beginning September 2015, the Dental Van will join a fleet of two Asthma Vans and the first Dental Van, launched less than one year ago.

“To see this program grow so quickly, with two clinics launched in one year, is a testament to the huge unmet need for oral health care in the city of Chicago,” says Mobile Care CEO Tim Egan. “We, as a city, cannot allow over 65,000 children per year to live with chronic mouth pain. The outpouring of support for our Dental Van demonstrates a large-scale consensus. We won’t stop until every child has access to a dentist, regardless of their family’s income.”

The Chicago Department of Public Health estimates that in 2014 over 80,000 children were in need of oral health care beyond the scope of Chicago’s Sealant Program, and, of those, 65,000 either could not or did not follow the referral to receive the recommended restorative care. Oral diseases, if left untreated, can lead to other serious medical conditions, including worsening asthma.

The new Dental Van was made possible by a generous $700,000 gift from the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation. “We’re in awe of the Rice Foundation,” says Mobile Care founder and board member Philip H. Sheridan, Jr. “They were among the first to recognize the potential of our Asthma Vans 15 years ago, and they’re paving the way again as we provide expanded care to low-income kids.”

Mobile Care’s first Dental Van, launched last summer, was the first comprehensive mobile dental clinic serving Chicago children. It is estimated that the two Dental Vans will serve 5,000 low-income children in the coming year.

Want to know how we’re doing? Track the progress of our first Dental Van

And you can see pictures of our Dental Van! Looking pretty nice, right?

Help Mobile Care Celebrate 15 Impactful Years at Strike Out Asthma

This Strike Out Asthma event as been 15 years in the making, and over that time 10,000 children have received necessary medical care. That certainly sounds like something worth celebrating! To help us ring in another 15 years of mobile clinics, we want you to be a part of the festivities.

Tickets are now on sale and for a limited time, we will be knocking $25 off of the ticket price! Strike Out Asthma will be an event to remember, with plenty of chances to win great prizes, bowl with Chicago celebrities, and take a tour of Mobile Care’s brand new Dental Van!

You're Invited

May 14th at 5:30pm
10 Pin Bowling Lounge
330 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Purchase Tickets

For information about sponsorships, contact Matt Siemer at msiemer@mobilecarefoundation.org or download our sponsorship package.

The Dental Van at Six Months: How Have We Done?

Today is World Oral Health Day, and also happens to mark the sixth month that our Dental Van has been providing services. World Oral Health Day is set aside every year to promote awareness of good oral hygiene. 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral disease in their lifetime, and 42% of Chicagoans suffer from inadequate dental care. Indeed, 65,000 Chicago children went without urgently needed oral procedures last year, either because of prohibitive cost or lack of access.

So what’s our Dental Van up to? Glad you asked!

Dental Van Results

Our Dental Van is committed to doubling these results over the next three months. If you’re interested, you can help. For each $160 we receive, we can provide a quality dental home for another child. See our Race to 2500 page to learn more.

And let’s share those smiles!

Join the Race to 2500, and commit to providing 2,500 children with quality oral health care.

Meet Mobile Care’s Dentist extraordinaire, Dr. Watson

Meet Dr. Watson

Now that the secret is out about our new Dental Van we’d like to get you up to speed on some of the finer points of the program. Let’s start by introducing you to our dentist, Dr. Joseph Watson.


Dr. Joseph Watson

Dr. Watson brings 19 years of experience to Mobile CARE and most recently practiced in Peoria, Illinois. He also brings a firsthand understanding of how important early oral health care is to children. “My childhood dentist and experience volunteering at a hospital dental clinic motivated me to become a dentist while I attended college.”

It is not only inspiring to learn that Dr. Watson’s positive experiences with oral healthcare led him to pursue a career in dentistry, but it further illustrates the importance of delivering dental care to children in need. Often, when people consider their health the teeth are often overlooked and it isn’t until a tooth begins to hurt that a visit to a dentist is sought after. This misconception is not good. Explains  Dr. Watson, “Teeth are organs like the lung, liver and kidneys. Teeth have their own vascular and nervous systems that are connected to our bodies through our head/skull. Not only can diseased teeth affect our ability to eat, they can also adversely affect our heart, eyes and brain.”

Helping people and clearing up that misconception is part of the reason Dr. Watson became a dentist. When asked what he likes most about being a dentist he says, “Providing care that can improve the quality of one’s life.”

When asked what he’s most looking forward to about working at Mobile CARE he responded “The great staff and the mobility!” Not one to put too fine a point on it, Dr. Watson also reminded the staff at Mobile CARE that while regularly brushing and flossing are all good the “most important thing we can do to achieve good oral health is to regularly see a dentist.”

And for our young patients feeling nervous about their first trip to the Dental Van, don’t worry. Dr. Watson promised “no shots or drilling at the first appointment!” You hold him to that!


You heard it straight from Dr. Watson himself: seeing a dentist regularly is important for good health. Can you help us send low income children to see Dr. Watson? Help us reach our goal through the Race to 2500!

Want to get completely up to speed? You can read more about our Dental Program here: http://mobilecarechicago.org/dentalvanprogram/