Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Delivers Critically-Needed Asthma Care Direct to Local Schools
Innovative mobile treatment center brings first-of-its-kind care to metro Atlanta
ATLANTA, October 31, 2016 – Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding announced the arrival of Atlanta’s first Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. As a core program of Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is the 49th unit worldwide, and the first to serve metro Atlanta’s vulnerable asthma population. This high-tech, high-touch mobile clinic will provide asthma medical care and education at select schools in the City of Atlanta, DeKalb and Fulton Counties.
“Georgia’s rate of asthma cases in children is one of the highest in the nation, affecting about nine percent of children under the age of 18,” said Beth Howell, President and CEO of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities. “Our Ronald McDonald Care Mobile mission is to bring asthma care to children where they live, learn and play. Based on our historical relationship with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we know this will be another life-changing partnership.”
Asthma is a condition characterized by alarmingly persistent disparities in prevalence, morbidity and mortality among minorities, children and the poor. The rate of asthma cases in Georgia’s children is one of the highest in the nation, with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America identifying Atlanta as the 16th most challenging city in the nation to live with asthma.
“This mobile care unit will allow us to expand the expert medical care delivered at the Children’s Asthma Center outside the walls of our hospital, and meet a significant need for asthma treatment, prevention and education in the community,” said Donna Hyland, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta CEO. “Based on successful global models of the RMHC Program, Atlanta Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will break many of the barriers to effective asthma care and capitalize on the strong and valuable partnership between our two organizations to deliver critically-needed care.”
The 40-foot Ronald McDonald Care Mobile took more than six months to build, with two exam rooms, a draw station, a pulmonary function lab and waiting area. It will be staffed by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta employees under the medical direction of Ann-Marie Brooks, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist and medical director for The Asthma Center. The team will include a pediatric nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, and mobile outreach technician who can also function as a patient access representative.
“Asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism, with many of the children we’ve served reporting missing more than 10 days of school each year,” stated Brooks. “Effective asthma management is key to empowering children, parents and other caretakers to achieve and maintain asthma control, and is one of the best ways to help keep these children in school, and out of the ER.”
“We envisioned a mobile asthma unit several years ago because we knew we could reach more children and give them and their families the care they need to treat and manage this chronic illness,” continued Brooks. “I am thrilled to see this vision become a reality.”
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will begin serving children at their schools immediately, with an initial service area that focuses on communities identified as having the most critical need, Deerwood Academy, Fickett Elementary and Bunche Middle School in the Atlanta Public School System. The program is slated to expand next to serve Peachcrest Elementary in DeKalb County and Bethune Elementary in Fulton County.
Initial funding for the program has been provided through generous support from The Goizueta Foundation and will continue to serve the community through additional philanthropic partnerships and donations.
About Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities
Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to nurturing the health and well-being of children and families. The two Atlanta Houses have provided a “home-away-from-home” to more than 47,000 families since the first Atlanta House opened in 1979.
At the Ronald McDonald House, families can enjoy many of the comforts of home, receive nutritious meals prepared and served by volunteers and obtain emotional support through contact with other families experiencing similar situations. No family is turned away if they cannot afford the small $20 requested contribution and many of these families stay at one of our Houses for weeks, and sometimes months, while their children receive medical treatment. For more information about Atlanta RMHC, please visit www.armhc.org or call (404) 315-1133.
About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been 100 percent dedicated to kids for more than 100 years. A not-for-profit organization, Children’s is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 870,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 27 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support since 1915, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit www.choa.org for more information.
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Learn more about the Care Mobile.