Medical Center Hospital and Ronald McDonald House unveil new program

by Michael Stafford
NewsWest 9

It's a state of the art medical clinic on wheels, and starting next week hundreds of Ector County school students will start seeing the results.  Medical Center Hospital and Ronald McDonald House unveiled the unique program on Tuesday.      

Ronald McDonald is usually selling hamburgers, but now he's helping Medical Center Hospital in Odessa serve area families in a much different way. The care mobile will cater to E.C.I.S.D. students, their siblings and their minor children up to 18 years of age.  They'll have a huge impact on the community's health needs as they hit the road.  

Nurse Practioner Tamara Bavousett tells Newswest nine, "We'll travel to area elementary schools five days a week from eight-30 in the morning until two-30 in the afternoon providing whatever care they need.  We'll provide well exams, vaccinations, sick visits, social work needs and also get them qualified for CHIP'S and Medicaid, if they don't already have it." 

It'll contain two patient exam rooms, a lab, a reception area, and a medical records room.  A pediatric nurse practioner, a second nurse, a billing specialist, and social worker will all be available to help out.  A doctor will help on occasion with consultations.

It's only the third mobile care unit of its kind in Texas,  and nurses are excited, because the desperate need and the immediate benefit.  

Bavousett adds,  "What this means is access to care.  There are so many children that lack insurance or medical care.  They can't get to the physician, and they end up going to the emergency room or clinic. We can bring the care to them.  That way they don't have to miss school."   

The school district hopes to expand the program in the future to include 17 area counties.