Children’s National Medical Center’s Mobile Health Project: When a Drive-By Is a Good Thing
Today we would like to recognize Children’s National Medical Center’s Mobile Health project for having served DC children- and the neighborhoods that they live in- for 20 years. The Mobile Health project brings comprehensive health and dental services to neighborhoods where they are limited (or not accessible at all) and provides them at no cost to families.
What is particularly compelling about this project is not just that it provides important services for children who need them desperately but that the doctors and others involved – like us here at DC Action – take a community and neighborhood approach to helping the child as a whole. While good health is essential for a child’s future, it is only one aspect of well-being. Children must also have a healthy neighborhood in which to live, learn and play to be successful in school and in life.
That is the theme of our new, interactive DC KIDS COUNT e-Databook. The e-Databook uses data and maps to show how children are doing in DC through a lens of “place.” In other words, we evaluate aspects affecting the child as a whole, tracking neighborhood by neighborhood what assets are available to help children to be happy, healthy and successful.
We believe that for children to be healthy, their neighborhood needs to be full of healthy assets as well, including:
• Places to Learn, such as good, safe schools, afterschool programs and libraries
• Places to Play, such as clean, safe parks, recreation centers and athletic fields
• Places to get Healthy, such as grocery stores, health clinics, doctor’s offices and affordable farmers markets
• Places to Do Business, such as offices, banks, shops, restaurants and other establishments where people can get good jobs and buy what they need.
Did you know that more than 4,000 (4%) of DC children are living in neighborhoods with none of the assets measured in our DC KIDS COUNT report? How can we expect them to thrive when we do not support them with the assets they need to do so?
We salute the Children’s National Mobile Health Project for taking your “medicine on the move” and providing places for DC children to get healthy. We hope that everyone, across all 39 neighborhood clusters in DC, will JOIN US in our commitment to improving outcomes for ALL DC children this year and next year and beyond.