Caring on the Road
Caring for uninsured kids is a huge challenge in the South Bay area. For one thing, their parents often don't know that free clinics exist. And transportation issues often keep them at home.
Many kids have to soldier through common - but painful - illnesses such as ear infections and strep throat without medical care. Many have never had a regular check up or been immunized against polio, mumps, tetanus or whooping cough. And some children suffer with serious, life-threatening conditions that could - if treated - be managed.
Partners For Healthy Kids
We decided, If we can't help our community's children in clinics, we'll take our clinic to them! So PLCM created the Partners for Healthy Kids program, sending a mobile pediatric clinic to schools in Lawndale, Gardena, Wilmington and San Pedro every week. The kids get the medical care they need right where they are.
Run by a bilingual staff, Partners for Healthy Kids also provides wellness education and referrals to dental and specialty care when needed. The kids learn how to keep themselves healthy and strong.
Sometimes they experience life-saving care.
A Happy Ending
Samuel was 6 years old when he visited the Partners for Healthy Kids van at his school. He said his throat and ears had been hurting a lot and that he probably had a cold. Could we give him something to make him feel better?
Our nurse practitioner examined Samuel's throat and ears and saw nothing unusual. But when she felt his neck, she noticed a lump that wasn't supposed to be there. It needed immediate attention.
Samuel's mom was frightened. She didn't have a way to get her little boy to a specialist. She spoke only Spanish and had no understanding of the healthcare system. But the nurse practitioner knew that if Samuel had cancer - and wasn't seen and treated immediately - it could spread. He could die.
The nurse practitioner got on the phone to make appointments with specialists. She arranged transportation to and from the appointments. As it turned out, she was right. Samuel had a laryngeal tumor that required surgery.
Today, Samuel is a happy, healthy kid, back at school with his friends. His mom says she will be forever grateful that we cared enough to help him get the treatment he needed. We here at PLCM are grateful too, that we had a program that allowed us to be part of Samuel's successful care!