New partnership hopes to expand pediatric health services to underserved areas

Mobile pediatric health clinic Kids’ Doc On Wheels (KDOW) has expanded its services.

KDOW celebrated its new second mobile unit and partnership with Peach State Health Plan with a ribbon cutting ceremony July 16 at Fairington Elementary School in Stonecrest. The second mobile unit is expected to increase access to pediatric healthcare services in Georgia.

KDOW is a mobile health clinic that offers pediatric health services such as annual physicals, immunizations, allergy treatments, behavioral health screenings, weight monitoring, dental services and telemedicine services. This year, the clinic partnered with Peach State Health Plan to offer screenings and services leading up to the 2019 school year.

Dr. Melinda Willingham, co-medical director of KDOW, said her team wanted to bring its second unit to Fairington Elementary and the surrounding community.

Kids’ Doc On Wheels recently opened a second mobile unit to increase services.

“We believe that children need to have healthcare and oftentimes the parents face barriers, whether there are actually able to take off work to bring the child to the doctor,” Willingham said. “We don’t think that that should impact a child’s health overall. We are very passionate about making sure that children receive the services that they need.”

Fairington Elementary principal Dr. Walter Burke, Jr. said having the mobile health clinic outside the school brings attention to the good changes that are happening at the school.

“When I approached this school five years ago, there were a lot of negative conversations around this school,” Burke said. “It feels good because the one thing I told the staff is that they’re looking at us and talking about us now in a bad way, but they’ll be talking about us and reading about us in a good way. And this is that part of reading in a good way.”

The purpose of mobile health clinics is to offer flexible and viable options for bringing healthcare services to families who might otherwise go without care. Peach State Health Plan representative Robert Friedrichs said the mobile unit allows children to stay at school and get healthcare services at the same time.

“It also allows parents, caregivers or guardians to not miss hours of work by having convenient opportunities,” he said. “So, Peach State looked at this as a wonderful way to get more children more care in unique ways that are very conducive to the lives of the people that we serve.”

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