Lurie Children's Unveils New Mobile Health Unit

August 30, 2023

Senator Richard J. Durbin and community partners joined leaders from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to unveil a new, larger mobile health unit today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted at Iglesia Evangelica Emanuel in Belmont-Cragin. The new unit is equipped with running water, bathroom facilities, a wheelchair ramp, internet access, multiple clinic rooms and other enhanced features. The larger mobile unit will allow providers to serve more patients and increase the type of clinical services offered. Renowned artist Rafael Lopez created the exterior design of the unit to reflect what community means to the youth of Chicago after meetings with Lurie Children’s patients and workforce development programs.

“With a new, larger mobile health unit, we will be able to expand our reach and readily respond to the unique needs of more individuals in the communities we serve,” said Jacinta Staples, MSN, RN, Director of Community-Clinic Collaborations at the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities at Lurie Children’s. “By working with our community partners to bring our clinical and public health expertise to various neighborhoods throughout Chicago, we maximize the positive impact that our medical center can have on the health and well-being of children, youth and families.”

The Mobile Health program brings high-quality clinical services and multifaceted culturally informed health promotion directly into Chicago communities. The program provides healthcare services delivered by Lurie Children’s physicians and allied health professionals working out of an easily accessible mobile unit. Services include school physicals, sports physicals, immunizations, well-child visits and asthma care. These services take place at community partner settings (based on community need) as well as at neighborhood Chicago Public Schools. The hospital also partners with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) located in Chicago’s under-resourced neighborhoods, where almost all pediatric patients are insured by Medicaid. FQHCs are Lurie Children’s key partners in meeting the healthcare needs of children in under-resourced communities.

The new mobile health unit was funded through the Congressionally Directed Spending program with Senator Durbin’s leadership. Lurie Children’s mobile health program is generously supported by ALDI, Dorothea Berggren Charitable Foundation, CVS Health, Fifth Third Bank, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Andy and Nancy Mills, Vivo Foundation and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

“Lurie Children’s new mobile health unit will serve as a beacon of accessibility, bringing essential health care services directly to our communities’ doorsteps,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “By taking medical services on the road, Lurie is not only bridging gaps but also extending a healing hand to children, youth, and families across Chicago.”

Lurie Children's is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the hospital served more than 220,000 children from 48 states and 49 countries, with over half of its patients insured by Medicaid and more than one-third living in under-resourced communities. 

The hub for community health initiatives at Lurie Children’s is the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities. The Magoon Institute facilitates partnerships and programs between Lurie Children’s and the community to address root causes of health disparities and advance health equity for youth.