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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.

DV2.2

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.

DV2.3

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!

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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/

All Aboard the Dental Van

Early pictures have come in from the build-out of our Dental Van!

Our new Dental Van – following the delivery model perfected by the Asthma Vans – is a comprehensive mobile clinic with a dentist aboard that will break down barriers of access to dental services with children across the Chicagoland area. This is especially important because, according to the American Medical Association, four out of five children do not receive preventative dental care. In some cases, a visit to the Dental Van will be the first time a child sees a dentist.

Let’s take a brief tour!

The Dental Van is bigger than our Asthma Vans so that we can have two operatory chairs:

 

Rear Operatory

Rear Operatory

 

Front Operatory

Front Operatory

Our Dental Van also features a Stericenter which will afford efficient workflow space and allow sterilizing and storing instruments. There is additional storage behind the rear operatory room.

Stericenter

Stericenter

We see children at their school sites to provide the benefit of low wait times. Children don’t miss a lot of school and parents don’t have the added stress of traveling far to make appointments. Our Dental Van has a small, interior waiting room to accommodate a child and parent. The seat can fold up or down to accommodate workflow.

Interior waiting area

Interior waiting area

Now that we have the Dental Van our next steps include staffing, decorating the inside, and continuing to partner with school sites. In our first year we expect to visit 2,000 children at 40 partner schools. We cannot wait to get started!

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

With enough funding, we could help 2,500 low-income children in our first year! Help us reach our goal through the Race to 2500!

 

Asthma Vans Seek to Stub Out Smoking in Public Parks

Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation, the Respiratory Health Association and over 20 other concerned organizations are calling on the Chicago Park District to ban smoking in 570 parks under its jurisdiction.

Chicago is well known for strategically placing its public parks adjacent to Chicago Public Schools, recognizing that for many children, the park is the only public space available to them. But the downside is that, in public parks, adults can smoke next to two areas highly trafficked by children (the park and the school).

For the 88,000+ Chicago children with asthma, exposure to cigarette smoke can acerbate airway constriction, creating a dangerous situation. “Schools, restaurants, and other community buildings have rightly had smoking curtailed in the interest of better city health,” Tim wrote. “We believe it is past time to extend that same logic to city parks.”

As RHA indicates, “there are 28 municipalities in Illinois and over 900 more municipalities in states across the U.S. that have adopted smoke-free parks policies,” including Atlanta, Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles. Read our full letter, posted here.

Read MCF’s reasponse to Chicago’s “F grade” in air quality from the American Lung Association.

Learn how Asthma Vans help over 1,000 low-income children annually.