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More Than 100,000 Children Receive High Quality Health Care Every Year From Ronald McDonald Care Mobile(R) Program

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 General News J E 4
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Ronald McDonald House Charities' 39 Mobile Clinics Worldwide Provide Families With Health Education, Connections to Continued Care

OAK BROOK, Ill., March 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The days of doctors making house calls may be long gone, but every year high quality health care is delivered to the neighborhoods of more than 100,000 children every year thanks to the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® (RMCM). For more than a decade, Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) has supported these mobile clinics which open the door to quality services and health education by identifying, treating, and referring children to a continuous health source.

A unique mobile healthcare program, the RMCM goes beyond treatment, by reducing families' reliance on emergency rooms, heightening awareness of healthy lifestyles and helping eligible families obtain government-assisted health insurance. Staffed by healthcare experts in the communities it serves, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile (RMCM) program works to complement existing services, build capacity and strengthen the local healthcare infrastructure. Ten years after the launch of the first RMCM, there are 39 programs on the road today --  34 in the United States, one in Europe, two in Asia Pacific and two in Latin America with plans for both domestic and international expansion.  

Sixty percent of the children who visit the RMCM are uninsured and do not visit a physician's office during the year and more than half have no care from a provider of any type in an office-based setting.  Uninsured children are at greater risk of experiencing health problems such as obesity, heart disease and asthma, and most likely these will continue to affect them later in adulthood.

"In our country, families face a number of obstacles when looking for quality healthcare for their children – not the least of which are geographic and financial," said Matt Levy, M.D., Ronald McDonald Care Mobile of Greater D.C. medical director, Georgetown University Medical Center/MedStar Health. "We take a holistic approach to providing children with health care services by focusing on education which reduces overall medical costs, addresses behavior and lifestyle choices and motivates families to improve and maintain their health."

RMCM staff provides services that range from immunizations and preventive check-ups to dental care and treatment for chronic and acute illnesses.  Most importantly, they work with families connect them with ongoing care from a primary doctor or dentist. 

Based on estimated market rates for basic pediatric and dental services, the health care provided annually by RMHC is valued at nearly $10 million, according to a study of the economic impact of the RMCM program in the United States.  The report, RMHC Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Economic Impact Study by Dennis H. Tootelian, Ph.D. professor of marketing and director of the Center for Small Business in the College of Business at California State University, Sacramento, estimates that if 10 percent of the children treated at the RMCM mobile clinics would have had to seek medical care in an Emergency Room/Emergency Department of a non-trauma care hospital, the cost would have been nearly $14 million.

John M. Falletta, M.D., professor of pediatrics, Duke University and Ronald McDonald House Charities Global Board Member, referred to the RMCM program as," "a stroke of genius when it was first created."  He continued, "There may be other mobile health programs, but I am not aware of a program that has the range of services RMCM provides to a community. With everything from standard medical and dental care to innovative services like blood collection in rural areas, this program fills a critical need.  The communities it travels to are underserved and the families would potentially never have access to high quality health care without the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program."  

About RMHC®

Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Families and children being cared for at seventy-three percent of the most prestigious children's hospitals in the world benefit from one or more of the RMHC core programs. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most - right in their own communities. RMHC makes an immediate, positive impact on children's lives through its global network of local Chapters in 52 countries and regions and its three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®. RMHC and its global network of local Chapters have awarded millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs around the world. These programs and grants provide a bridge to quality health care and gives children what they need most to heal, their families.

www.rmhc.org

CONTACT: Clara L. Carrier, RMHC, +1-630-623-6573 Office, +1-630-209-7617 Cell Phone, clara.carrier@us.mcd.com

SOURCE Ronald McDonald House Charities

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