“THE DOCTOR SPOT? WHAT’S A DOCTOR SPOT?”
When kids can’t go to the doctor, they can go to The Doctor Spot. That’s the idea behind The Doctor Spot, a mobile pediatric clinic providing basic medical services for kids in some of Dallas County’s most medically underserved neighborhoods.
Click here to download The Doctor Spot October 2020 Schedule (subject to change).
The mobile pediatric clinic travels around the Dallas area to strategic sites such as elementary schools and apartment complexes. The goal is to provide care on a routine basis in order to keep our community in good health. The clinic is staffed with a Nurse Practitioner and a Medical Assistant. It offers sick checks and preventive care, including immunizations, athletic exams and obesity screenings–the services that kids need to be healthy and thrive both at home and in the classroom. Mobile pediatric clinics are already proven to be successful in communities around the country, including Memphis, Miami, Houston and San Antonio.
THE NEED IS REAL AND URGENT
Marisa-Joy Gingerich, FNP-C, received her undergraduate degree from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas in 2005 and her nurse practitioner degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 2016. She is certified with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She worked for Ascension Health in Hillsboro, TX for a couple years before working in California the last two years as a provider to five different companies. Working for multiple companies as a traveling nurse practitioner allowed her to see many different parts of California, be exposed to different cultures and gave her invaluable medical experience. Ms. Gingerich is trilingual and delighted to work with The Doctor Spot as it incorporates her love for providing medical care with a passion for serving others. She loves spending time with her dog, being outdoors, playing the violin and most of all, spending time with her friends, family, nieces and nephews.
There’s no doctor nearby, much less one who will see a child without insurance even if the child is enrolled in Medicaid. Texas has chosen not to expand Medicaid, so finding a doctor is still a difficult task. Dallas County is home to approximately 675,000 children. Of those, 24.9% live below the federal poverty level. Most of these children end up in a hospital ER, resulting in added costs to everyone. Sadly, these children face additional dangers, too. Since the year 2000, infant mortality has increased by 35% in Dallas County. One-fourth of 2-year-olds have not been properly vaccinated. The Center for Disease Control studies show that just providing common childhood vaccines prevents more than 14 million cases of disease, 35,000 deaths and saves $10 billion per year nationally.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT, NOT JUST A BAND-AID
So, what sort of financial impact can we expect from The Doctor Spot? Our best benchmark is a 2008 study of a mobile health clinic–sponsored by Harvard–using 20-years’ worth of data. In terms of estimated emergency room cost savings, the study put the ROI at 14:1. In other words, that’s $14 worth of public health value for every $1 spent–an impressive return to Dallas County tax payers.
GETTING OFF THE DIME, GETTING ON THE SPOT
We’re asking for financial support from the community at large to continue to equip The Doctor Spot. Together, we can change the alarming course of children’s health in our community. We are currently delivering quality, accessible health care where it is most needed. Join us!