It’s no secret, Dallas is a great place to live. More Americans have migrated to Dallas in the past seven years than any other city. And with job growth increasing over 20% in the past five years, Dallas has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as the top US city for job growth in 2017. But underneath all this economic growth is a serious problem. Over 30% of its children live in poverty, leaving Dallas tied with Phoenix for the third-worst childhood poverty rate among major US cities at 30.6%. To visualize this number, the number of Dallas children living in poverty could fill the AT&T stadium two and a half times. What’s more, with 13% of local children lacking insurance coverage, Dallas is almost double the national average of uninsured children.
Dr. Shyla Valentine, one of The LifeSavers Foundation board members, elaborated on these points while visiting the Upscale Resale, a thrift store run by The LifeSavers Foundation in Richardson, TX. She’s a cardiologist in Dallas, practicing medicine for 20 years. The Upscale Resale helps fuel the many projects that The LifeSavers Foundation is passionate about. “I realize that there are many people who don’t come to the doctors office. And especially children in need. How must that feel when parents know that they don’t have access to the basic things that we take for granted, medicine, doctors and relationships with doctors? I cannot imagine the agony of watching your child get sicker and sicker. And at what point do they realize that the only option they can exercise is waiting in a long line in the emergency department. I cannot even imagine that. Therein lies the deep need for something like The Doctor Spot.”
Mobile Medical Unit
The Doctor Spot is a mobile medical unit serving children zero to eighteen. These are children who are sick or may need a vaccination. These are also children who are well and maybe just need a checkup or may have other problems like being overweight or obese. They may just need a little education. One of the unique things about The Doctor Spot is that it is mobile. It goes into their communities, their schools and their apartment complexes. Many times these children or parents may not have access to transportation or a way to get to the doctor.
Chandra Smith, APRN, CPNP aboard The Doctor spot comments, “I grew up in poverty, like many of the patients that we see. I didn’t have access to medical care. My mom didn’t have insurance for us. Doing something like The Doctor Spot is really special to me, because I didn’t have access to medical care. I absolutely love what I do. It’s my passion.”
Dr. Valentine said, “What makes LifeSavers different is that they truly put a heartbeat into the mission of assisting women and children in crisis; our volunteers, our staff, our foundation, the people who support us. We truly are the hands and feet of Jesus as we help those in need.”
What makes our area such a great place to live isn’t just the economic growth and opportunities we provide. It’s the quality of people, people like you, who understand that caring for those who are less fortunate than ourselves isn’t just an investment in our city’s future health, but more importantly, it’s the right thing to do. Thank you for your most generous support of The Doctor Spot.