Mobile medical services touts early success

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A new mobile unit in DeKalb County is designed to take some of the stress out of going to the doctor. 

Kids’ Doc on Wheels, a nonprofit organization based in Clarkston, is bringing the doctor’s office to DeKalb County’s school district.
The organization operates out of a $150,000, 40-foot bus that includes exam rooms, restrooms and a blood drawing station.

“We’re committed to educating children on nutrition and exercise and if they have chronic conditions getting them help,” said the organization’s founder and co-medical director Lynette Wilson-Phillips. “We offer education and consistent follow-ups and I truly enjoy the energy that the children bring.”

Phillips said the idea started from DeKalb County officials wanting to create a school-based health clinic for DeKalb. However, there was not enough space in most schools to create a physical clinic, Phillips said.

“The next morning I woke up with the idea of doing it as a mobile unit and build out an actual clinic. The clinic would increase the opportunity of servicing more children because we would not be in a fixed school,” Phillips said. “It pretty much would take the walls off our private-practice model and put it on wheels.”

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The program serves students up to 18 years old. The mobile clinic also provides physicals, wellness exams, immunizations, allergy testing, asthma treatment, urgent care, chronic illness treatment, behavioral health treatment and dental exams.

Executive Director Keisha Dudley said she is excited to serve DeKalb County’s students.

“It’s been a great project and I’m thrilled about it. It’s a great opportunity to be a part of something that’s needed in this community,” Dudley said. “I can relate to a lot of these kids in the schools we serve.

Dudley said staff tries to make the children feel as comfortable as possible with doctors wearing polos and khakis as opposed to medical scrubs.

“We want this to be a comfortable environment for them and we want kids to be excited to go to the doctor,” Dudley said.

“Some of these kids haven’t seen a regular healthcare provider in a couple of years, so we want them to be excited to get on the [Kids’ Doc on Wheels] bus.”

Dudley said the response from parents and principals has been positive. Generally the unit will visit participating schools twice a week for half a day. Kids’ Doc on Wheels also offers services to local YMCA youth programs.

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