The first day of school is just around the corner and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile staff is helping families get ready. Though on the road all year long bringing vital pediatric medical services to underserved communities in the Greater Pittsburgh Region, this time of year the program’s focus is ensuring kids have the required immunizations and physicals to go back to school and participate in sports activities. For families who face financial, logistical and geographical barriers accessing these necessary services, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is a welcomed relief.

Twice a month, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile arrives on the campus of Duquesne City School District. Setting up in the morning, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile medical staff serves the students during the day.

Coordinating with parents in advance to receive permission for their child to be seen on the Care Mobile, school nurse Traci Kinst takes students to see the medical staff during the school day. Additionally, the staff can help students who have a chronic illness and need their prescriptions to attend a field trip.

“The proximity to the school is amazing and it helps to keep kids in the classroom learning,” said Kinst.

Kinst understands the importance of this preventative care to keeping the student body healthy.

“It is a tremendous resource for this community,” Kinst added. “We have many school families whose students greatly benefit from this program all year long, especially those who have student athletes.”

Another community benefitting from this “doctor’s office on wheels” is in California Pennsylvania. Every six months, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile visits each location of the Village and The Rutledge Institute. These facilities provide childcare, preschool and early childhood education.

There, the Care Mobile staff provides services such as state-required immunizations, vision screenings and lead and mercury testing.

“The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile provides services for children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them,” said Clark Harrison, Business Manager for the Village and The Rutledge Institute.

Harrison also notes that the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile staff will follow-up with the parents following the screenings with additional resources.

“The staff is wonderful,” said Harrison. “They called parents whose children tested high for lead or mercury after work to make sure they have what they need.”

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile has been serving families in this region for more than two decades. Services are provided at no cost to the families, thanks to generous support from individuals, foundations and other organizations. In addition to going to schools, it also visits clinics and communities for wellness and sick visits. Recently the program has teamed up with the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank to address food insecurity.

“This program is such an important part of the communities that it goes in to, they all really need it. I wish there were more,” said Harrison.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh and Morgantown
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