As measles outbreaks around the nation make the news, the work of the Caring Foundation of Texas stands out as an effort to bring preventive care to kids in the most vulnerable circumstances.
By taking no-cost vaccinations and health screenings on the road, the CareVan program eliminates healthcare barriers and helps support a healthier environment for everyone.
“Typically the people who come to use cannot afford the county health services, and then there is the problem of transportation,” said Hallie Larson, development coordinator for the foundation. “We go to a local location, like a school, and set up rooms for screening, medical records and administration of vaccines.”
The CareVan program began in 1997, and has expanded the scope of its mobile care offerings over time. Along with vaccinations, screenings for dental problems, and now, adult screenings for kidney problems.
“In studying what problems in Texas have the highest cost of care and low rates of early preventive care, kidney problems came up as one of those really expensive items,” said Christine Kutnick, chief operating officer of the foundation. “Identifying renal problems before it becomes an acute illness is key to making better outcomes for the patient, and reducing the cost of treatment.”
Services from the CareVan are provided at no cost to patients, but the real benefit is to the community as a whole with reduced indigent medical costs and reducing the likelihood of preventable illness outbreaks by increasing the number of vaccinated individuals.
“Donations like this one help us prevent outbreaks, creating healthier communities,” Kutnick said. “For every $20 we are able to get a child caught up on vaccinations and bring the care into areas where access is so crucial. If someone doesn’t have transportation, they can’t get care, so we go to them.”
For more information, visit carevan.org.