For all too many families, a simple doctor’s appointment is an unaffordable luxury. Arranging transportation, taking time off of work, and paying out-of-pocket costs can all be deal-breakers, even when a child’s health is at stake.
That’s why Laura Chilcutt, MD, proposed the idea of a free mobile clinic — and why we’re so proud to support this exciting pilot program.
Since early in 2021, Laura has been driving an old repurposed blue van as much as 40 miles into low-income Central Florida neighborhoods surrounding our hospital in Orlando. On one Saturday morning each month, she rotates between three different sites — a community center, a nonprofit’s office, and the Mexican consulate — where she is joined by another 10 volunteer providers, including Nemours Children’s pediatricians and residents and medical students from the University of Central Florida.
Laura’s team gives vaccinations, conducts annual well-child visits, and screens kids for hearing, vision and emotional health. For many of the clinic’s patient families who are recent immigrants without documents, the visit may be their child’s first U.S. health care appointment.
The van carries an exam table, stethoscopes, eye charts and other equipment, including an EKG monitor for tests required for children to participate in school sports. Laura also distributes boxes of food from the food bank and helps applicants apply for public food aid.