Delivering health care to doorsteps, schools and shelters
BY KRISTA CONGER
A raven on roller skates might seem a strange sight in an elementary school parking lot. But thanks to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, children and adults around East Palo Alto and Menlo Park will soon be getting regular glimpses of the rare bird on the side of a mobile health clinic donated by Packard Children's to the Ravenswood Family Health Center.
The fully-equipped vehicle with two private exam rooms, which sports a whimsical wheeled version of the Center's feathered mascot, will deliver health professionals to those who need it most: low-income children and adults who may have no other access to health care. Packard Children's has also earmarked funds to support some of the operating costs of the vehicle's pediatric service.
"It is an honor to partner with the Ravenswood Family Health Center," said Packard Children's chief executive officer Christopher Dawes. "The new mobile clinic will allow the center to overcome many common barriers to health-care access cited by patients: lack of time, limited transportation options and a feeling of medical homelessness? related to inconsistent medical care."
The donation is the most recent example of a long-standing relationship between the two organizations aimed at increasing the center's capacity and improving the health of local children. Packard Children's has also provided the center with a pediatric social worker and pediatricians, as well as the Pediatric Weight Control Program and the medical-legal collaboration known as the Family Advocacy Program.
As part of the donation, the Center has agreed to continue a former Packard Children's program that provided on-site vaccinations, examinations and other basic health-care services to Ravenswood School District students and their families. The twice-a-week service is particularly important in the busy district, which enrolls about 30 new pupils each month.
The clinic will also travel to various sites throughout the two cities to serve the special needs of the homeless population.