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HCHD Foundation brings mobile health to north Harris County

HCHD staff and foundation members open the mobile unit for service weekly from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. throughout north Houston. (Picture by Bruce Bennett)

With more than 150,000 uninsured children in Harris County, Harris County Hospital District (HCHD) Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) have initiated a cost-effective way to provide high-quality health care for children in north Harris County with the Ronald McDonald CareMobile.

“Harris County Hospital District is important to the future of this community. We want to make sure that every child has health coverage and that every one of their parents have health coverage,” expressed State Representative Garnet Coleman during the official launch and dedication ceremony of the HCHD Ronald McDonald CareMobile on June 22. Children got a chance to meet Ronald McDonald while MECA Mariachi band entertained the crowd.

The 40-foot, two-room clinic on wheels, operated by Harris County Hospital District staff, provides free immunizations, health screenings including vision and hearing to residents newborn to 21 years of age and health education for parents. The National RMHC donated the CareMobile to the Foundation with the goal of improving childrenÌs health and providing continuity of care for children residing in medically underserved areas.

“This is a huge unmet need that exists in our community,” said John A. Guest, HCHD CEO. “The next generation of Americans will need good healthcare, so that they can exceed and achieve their dreams.”

The immunization rate for children in Harris County is one of the lowest in the country. HCHD hopes to change this through the use of the mobile health program.

HCHD staff projects the CareMobile will serve more than 1,500 children in the next year during visits to schools, religious institutions, apartment complexes, supermarkets and malls.

The National Ronald McDonald House Charities sponsors eight other CareMobile units in the U.S.
The HCHD Foundation financially supports the Harris County Hospital District’s mobile health program through two mobile units. Additionally, the unit supports the community outreach efforts of HCHD’s 11-health centers located throughout the county.
Also, attending were Elvin Franklin, Jr., HCHD Foundation Board of Trustees Member; Jon Meyers, Ronald McDonald House Charities Global; Debbie Adams, President of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston; Ricci Sanchez, and director of Aldine Health Center.

The HCHD Foundation was established in 1992 to supplement and enhance the broad health care mission of the Harris County Hospital District.
To inquire about mobile unit site location or funding opportunities, contact the HCHD Foundation at 713-566-6409.