News

8.30.2011

Pediatric Mobile Clinic Receives Gift from Himan Brown Trust

During his life, Himan Brown’s love and talent for the spoken word made him a cultural zeitgeist, a hitmaker in the world of radio drama whose creations included “Inner Sanctum Mysteries,” “Grand Central Station,” and “Dick Tracy.”

Though Brown died in June 2010 at age 99, he’s still leaving his indelible mark through the Himan Brown Charitable Trust, which last week made a $650,000 gift to UHealth Pediatrics to support the operation of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic. As a result, hundreds of mostly uninsured children who live in many of Miami-Dade County’s most at-risk communities will continue to receive quality health care from a UHealth medical team.

“I knew Himan Brown for about 40 years and he was an amazing guy,” said Richard L. Kay, who along with Matthew Forman represented the Trust at the August 24 check presentation. “He would have been immensely proud to be able to facilitate this project. We’re going to continue to be involved in a very active way.”

With the Pediatric Mobile Clinic serving as a backdrop for the ceremony, Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D., vice chair of pediatrics and director of the Mailman Center, noted the mobile clinic, now a 47-foot bus equipped with three exam rooms, a pharmacy and laboratory/treatment area, began delivering health care to children who most needed it after Hurricane Andrew left its devastating mark exactly 19 years earlier. The original mobile clinic was donated by the Children’s Health Fund (CHF), which continues to support the program.

Acknowledging the anniversary of the catastrophic storm, Judith Schaechter, M.D., associate chair and associate professor of pediatrics, thanked all the “villagers”—including Arturo Brito, M.D., M.P.H., former director of the mobile clinic and now the CHF’s executive vice president and chief medical officer—who have strived to help children grow up healthy in Miami-Dade since the August 24, 1992, storm.

“We realized the need in South Florida was so great that what we started 19 years ago is still critically needed today,” Schaechter said. “Thanks to all of you who help us to continue this necessary work.”

The mobile clinic team, led by medical director Lisa Gwynn, D.O., assistant professor of pediatrics, is expected to provide more than 2,500 medical visits this fiscal year – 97 percent of them by uninsured children and 13 percent by those with special needs.

Thanking the Himan Brown Trust, Gwynn ascribed the timely gift as “coming down from heaven.”

“This is an incredible day for us,” she said. “The lives we are changing and the children we are reaching is really wonderful for this county.”

Though the Trust supports various endeavors, Forman said it is focused on children in South Florida.

“I can’t think of anything more important than basic health care for kids,” Forman said. “It was an easy decision for us, a really easy decision.”

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