The Archdiocese of Chicago has expanded its partnership with Mobile Care Chicago, a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering no-cost medical and preventive care to low-income children, as well as to provide free, comprehensive oral health care to Archdiocese Catholic school students. This exciting collaboration will provide oral health care access to thousands of students, many of whom may not have had access to a dentist previously. This service will also help students remain in compliance with state requirements for dental exams in kindergarten, second grade and sixth grade.
“We are thrilled to be working with Mobile Care Chicago to provide this much needed service to our students,” said Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “The Catholic schools of the Archdiocese are committed to developing the whole child: spiritually, academically, socially and physically. Mobile Care Chicago’s services help us to fulfill this mission, particularly for our families in need.”
For schools that choose to participate, parents and guardians will complete consent forms to enroll their child in the program. Once consent forms are submitted, Mobile Care will schedule between three and five school days to provide initial exams, cleanings and teeth sealants to all participating students. If further treatment is needed, such as cavity fillings, extractions or other intensive work, it will be done as a follow-up appointment aboard Mobile Care’s Dental Van.
As part of its services, Mobile Care dental staff members return to ensure all work was properly completed and that no other services are needed. Mobile Care also maintains a 24-hour hotline if parents want to schedule a visit between appointments. Seven Archdiocesan schools have already enrolled in the program this year. The goal is to enroll all Archdiocese schools with students in need by the end of next school year.
“Mobile Care Chicago’s goal is to connect kids to high-quality dental and medical care before they fall through the cracks,” said Jonathan Weatherly, Mobile Care Chicago Board Chair. “Mobile clinics working with schools are the best way to find these kids whose parents work in occupations that don’t allow for access to traditional clinics. We’re very happy to be partnering with the Archdiocese on this important initiative, and we hope it will provide a model that can be replicated to provide a dental home for all children in Cook County, regardless of the parents’ ability to pay.”
The Archdiocese has worked with Mobile Care Chicago for nearly 15 years to provide no cost medical care through its mobile clinics to students of participating Catholic schools. Through the years, 98 percent of students who become patients of Mobile Care have seen a reduction in Emergency Department use, and more than 75 percent report reduced school absenteeism compared to the year before.
About Mobile Care Chicago
Mobile Care Chicago is a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering no-cost medical and preventative care, education and support to low-income children and families within their native communities aboard mobile medical clinics. The organization currently works with over 100 service sites to serve 20,000 children per year.
About the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools
The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools serves more than 79,000 students in 229 schools in Cook and Lake Counties. It is the largest private school system in the United States and the recipient of the greatest number of U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awards of any school system. In July 2015, all Archdiocesan elementary and secondary schools were successfully accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.