Mobile Care-A-Van Wins Prestigious National Award
In July, the Norwegian American Hospital Pediatric Care-A-Van was one of only five winners nationwide of the prestigious American Hospital Association NOVA award, which recognizes “bright stars of the health care field” that collaborate to improve community health. The Care-A-Van is a fully equipped mobile medical clinic that provides free preventive care – including physicals, immunizations and screenings for lead, hemoglobin, hearing and vision – to more than 3,000 low-income and underserved children at 80 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) sites and other locations in some of Chicago’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Children served by the Care-A-Van face barriers to receiving basic care; nearly all are low-income, and 92 percent identify as African American, Hispanic/Latino, or other minority.
Norwegian’s Mobile Care: Breaking down the barriers to quality care for children in need
A principal goal of the Norwegian American Hospital Foundation is to support and administer Mobile Services programs for children who may not have health insurance or a permanent medical provider. Many of these kids have never had a primary care visit or regular dental care. The ultimate goal is to provide a medical home for children to receive comprehensive, ongoing healthcare and dental services through appropriate counseling and education.
Director of Mobile Services
To schedule an appointment with the Care-A-Van:
The Pediatric Care-A-Van visits city and parochial schools, area day care and community centers. Free health screenings provided for school-age children include school and sports physicals, immunizations, hearing/vision screenings and lead/hemoglobin screenings. When potential health problems are found, the appropriate referrals are made so children and their families can receive proper treatment. The Care-A-Van has become the first call schools and day care centers make when medical attention is needed.
The Care-A-Van is sponsored by a grant from the Children’s Care Foundation, whose support is a vital part of the Care-A-Van’s sustainability.
Annually, the Care-A-Van program records more than 13,000 services through 3,000 visits. The Care-A-Van is a member of the Mobile Health Clinic Association.
On Feb. 25, 2015, the Foundation unveiled its new Pediatric Dental Van, an extension of the Care-A-Van program. This service addresses tremendous unmet needs for dental care as identified by the Chicago Public Schools Oral Health Program. In the 2012-2013 school year, over 40,000 children were found to need that level of dental care, but fewer than half received it, according to schools and Illinois Medicaid data.
The dental van makes 1,300 visits annually to partnering schools and day care and community centers to educate children on the importance of regular brushing, flossing and using fluoride.