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Meet Nurse Conway!

It would be nearly impossible to work with schools without a school representative, and in most cases our point person is the school nurse. We started working with Nurse Conway in 2014. She is an integral part of our model-of-care and why we’re able to reach so many students in the South Suburbs. She is also the first person we call when we’re going to try something new and innovative  – she was involved in Lung Fest, COVID testing/vaccination, implementing universal consent forms, and launching home environment assessments. All of our clinics team appreciate the hard work Nurse Conway does to make our school visits run smoothly!

We asked Nurse Conway for her perspective on MCC and the importance of accessible care:

Why is having easy access to health services important? 
Easy access to health services is critical to the well-being of our students.  It would be fabulous if all of our families had equal access to health services at the same level.  Unfortunately, that is not our reality for various reasons.  Having services available at school through Mobile Care levels the playing field for all students which ultimately has a direct impact on learning.  If we are able to close that gap by providing critical health care services, our students will be able to perform at their highest capacity.

How has Mobile Care positively impacted your students?

Since partnering with Mobile Care Chicago, our district has been positively impacted in various ways.  For instance, our students now have access to services earlier in development during those critical years of growth.  They are able to be monitored by a service that can follow them and intervene with a medical plan if necessary.  Our students are now spending less time out of school because their needs are being met through the services mobile care provides.  We have also seen a steady increase in medical compliance as mandated by ISBE.  Students that are in need are scheduled for an appointment on the mobile van and are brought up to date with all the necessary medical requirements for their grade levels.

What makes Mobile Care an ideal organization to work beside?

It has been a pleasure to work with the staff from Mobile Care Chicago!  They are flexible, reliable and consistent.  They are here on their scheduled days on time.  They are always professional and knowledgeable.  They have been flexible over the years and just always willing to make sure that at the end of their day, they have provided the services that parents have consented to with the highest level of quality.  They have made my job as a school nurse that much more rewarding!

What health service do you wish more students could easily access on a van like Mobile Care’s? 

Definitely vision and mental health services.  Those are the 2 things that are needed a lot more frequently than in previous years, but the access is limited.  This is across all ages and grade levels.  Our students would benefit tremendously from having greater access in these 2 areas.  It’s not as rewarding to provide a parent with outside resources, not knowing if the service will actually be provided.  There’s less chance the parent will actually follow up, which impacts the student negatively in the long run.

What is your favorite Chicago spot!

I do love Blue Aguave Tequila Bar on Kinzie.  I also enjoy the wine tastings at Cooper’s Hawk Winery.

Miles for Mobile Care is Live!

I’m ready to get my miles in!
How do I start? 

1) Head on over to our GiveLively fundraising page: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/mobile-c-a-r-e-foundation/miles-for-mobile-care-2022

2.) Donate, or set a fundraising goal! Start a team with your family or friends. To start or join a team, click “I want to fundraise for this!” on the right side of the page.

3.) Share the link to your team page with friends via text, email, and social media – anyone who donates to your page is now on your team!

I want a t-shirt!! How does that work? 

When you make a donation, you’ll get a confirmation email from GiveLively with a link to order your free shirt.  Anyone who donates $35 or more is eligible while supplies last (we’ll let you know when we are running low!) Make sure to check spam. Email rlessing@mobilecarefoundation.org with any questions.

Can I order more shirts if I donated more than $35?

Yes!! If you donated a higher amount and would like more shirts, feel free select the quantity equaling your donation amount- for example, since shirts are valued at $35 each, a $70 donation= 2 shirts! $140 donation = 4 shirts!

Miles for MCC ends on November 29!
Help us raise $10,000 so we can reach more communities in need of free, quality, health services. 

And the winner is…. Pabs Prints!

At the beginning of September, we hosted an open contest to find the perfect design for our official Miles for Mobile Care T-Shirt. We decided on three finalists that submitted amazing artwork, and we are happy to announce that local artist Pablo’s (PabsPrints) design was the chosen one!

Pablo Trees is a Colombian born emerging artist and designer that’s been in the Chicago art scene for a few years now. His choice to start his own business led to the creation of ‘Adfectus’ @adfchi, a streetwear line. Soon Pabs Prints was born, and Pablo discovered his calling in the design and merchandise world. As the first place winner of our T-Shirt design contest, we knew Pablo offered something special and refreshing to Mobile Care Chicago. Luckily, we were able to get to know Pablo a little more:

Tell us a little bit about yourself!!   

My name is Pablo Alejandro I am an immigrant from Bogota, Colombia moved to Melrose Park when I was 5, since middle school I’ve always had a passion for clothes. After I felt respect from my peers for what I was wearing I fell in love with the confidence I got from my outfits. I’ve drawn my whole life but my main focus was clothes when I first started expressing myself. I’ve always been told artist never make any money people used the idiom “You’ll be successful when Pigs fly “ so that sparked the motivation for my art brand Pabs Prints and I use the pig with wings as a mascot to do exactly that make pigs fly

What inspired you to enter the Miles for MCC design contest?

After meeting your team I instantly fell in love with what you’re doing for the community I have a 5 year old myself so the thought of other kids being healed all across the city made me instantly want to work with you.

Name a few artists who inspire you.

My closest friends inspire me JPAK4EVA, Flthy Rich, Sillouette Matte.

Favorite Chicago spots?

I love Phillys best, Marz Brewing Co for the Taco Sublime tacos, Royal Palms, Fulton Market has been pretty fun lately and Humboldt, Logan, La Estrella Mini Mart is one of my favorite spots too!

What is your personal mission through your work, what message do you hope to spread through art and design?

My mission with my work is to prove to myself and the people around me that you can live comfortably off of your art. I want to encourage everyone around me to strive for financial freedom and motivate others to follow that passion that’s burning inside of them waiting to come out.

Where do you hope to end up next? What kind of projects do you hope to work on in the future – and how can we find you on social media or online?

I hope to move closer to the city and build more than just an online community. I hope to see myself collaborate with bigger brands. My next project is my yearly Halloween collection with new characters, F/W 2022 and my new solo podcast “Proud Disappointment Podcast” you can find that on my YouTube and I am on all social media platforms: @pabsprints

If you want to see more of Pablo’s artwork follow this link!

Mobile Care Chicago got selected for The Anne M. Davis Mobile Health Award!

On Thursday, September 8th, 2022 we found out that Mobile Care had been selected to be a recipient of The Anne M.Davis Mobile Health Award.

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!

The Impact of Free & Charitable Clinics

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.

Matt Siemer
Executive Director

Did you know this about Asthma?

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 explains bad allergies on The 21st Show episode “Extreme Allergies Are In The Air”

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.


Thank You Dedication Health!

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!

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

We can’t wait to see you all at our next event!

Food Allergy Awareness Week

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!

Register here: https://mobilecarechicago.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/mobilecarechicago/eventRegistration.jsp?event=23

Mobile Care Chicago