Hope On Wheels – Healthcare Network Delivers

By Kaydee Tuff

Dr Kelley Johnson aboard the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile

Dr Kelley Johnson aboard the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile

When six-year-old Juanita stepped onto the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® in her Habitat for Humanity community, it was the first time in her life that she’d seen a dentist. For Dr. Kelley Johnson, it wasn’t the first time she’d seen a six-year-old with 16 cavities. It’s Dr. Kelley Johnson aboard the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® not so  uncommon on the Care Mobile, or any of the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida’s dental offices, where most children experience medical or dental care for the first time.

Operated by the Healthcare Network in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southwest Florida, this state-of-the-art pediatric office delivers “hope on wheels,” with medical and dental screenings, preventative and restorative dental care, eye exams, physicals and health education to 2,000 Collier County children who would otherwise go without needed care.

More recently, the Healthcare Network launched a schoolbased sealant program aboard the Care Mobile, providing Juanita and hundreds of underserved children with  protection from tooth decay. This sort of comprehensive managed care is the core of the Healthcare Network’s mission to provide quality healthcare accessible to everyone in our community. The Network annually serves more than 45,000 patients (32,000 of whom are children) at 13 locations throughout Collier County.

The Network’s Care Mobile operates year-round, visiting lowincome neighborhoods, Title I schools, day cares, preschools and summer camps throughout Collier County. These visits address critical childhood health needs, eliminate barriers faced by underserved families, provide a referral network and reduce reliance on expensive and inappropriate hospital and emergency room visits. To keep the wheels on the bus rolling, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Advisory Council will hold its 8th Annual Golf Tournament Thursday, April 10, 2014, at Quail West.

Please contact Elizabeth Zuluaga at ezuluaga@healthcareswfl.org or call 239.658.3113 for information on tickets or sponsorship opportunities. Information about Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, its office locations and services, can be found at www.healthcareswfl.org.

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