UM Pediatric Mobile Clinic Wins Statewide Sapphire Award

The University of Miami Pediatric Mobile Clinic was named a winning program and awarded $50,000 at the recent Sapphire Awards program, which honors outstanding work by individuals, programs and nonprofit organizations in community health care or health care-related fields.

The awards, presented by the Florida Blue Foundation, were announced at the Sapphire Symposium in Orlando in April, which featured community health experts from around the state and country. Honorees from three categories were awarded a total of $350,000.

“We are so grateful to be honored as a winning program for the Sapphire Award,” said Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Chief of Service at Holtz Children’s Hospital, and the George E. Batchelor Endowed Chair in Pediatrics. “The Pediatric Mobile Clinic is emblematic of the University of Miami Department of Pediatrics’ enduring partnership with our community and commitment to child health.”

UM’s Pediatric Mobile Clinic provides access to year-round, comprehensive, quality medical and mental health care, social service assistance, and case management services, regardless of ability to pay, to underserved children and families in Miami-Dade County. It promotes health education and healthy living in the communities served and trains future health care providers for careers that will reduce health care disparities.

The Pediatric Mobile Clinic uses a state-of-the-art telemedicine program, which provides remote consultations with physician faculty specialists in dermatology, cardiology, endocrinology, nutrition and hematology. The innovative design allows for the use of electronic medical records, tracking of health trends, outcomes and reporting methods, while reducing medical errors.

“The Pediatric Mobile Clinic will continue to serve as a medical home for thousands of uninsured children throughout Miami-Dade County, thanks to supporters like Florida Blue,” said Lisa Gwynn, D.O., M.B.A., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and clinical public health sciences, Medical Director for the Pediatric Mobile Clinic, Associate Division Director of Pediatrics, and Director of Innovation and Community Engagement, Mailman Center for Child Development. “With our incredible multidisciplinary, multicultural team, we will continue to forge ahead to provide help to those in need. It is an honor to be a part of such a unique program.”

The Pediatric Mobile Clinic first began delivering care to those most in need after Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992. It has remained a strong presence in the community ever since, by providing the highest comprehensive care, in three languages, to children, many of whom arrive after political, economic or natural crises.

“We have helped children and families from Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and other countries transition physically and emotionally, getting them started in school and integrating into the fabric of our neighborhoods,” Gwynn added.

In 2015, the Pediatric Mobile Clinic’s health care providers were involved in 3,200 clinical encounters, including 200 by telemedicine; 2,000 hours of training for students, residents, interns and fellows; 3,000 vaccinations and tuberculosis screenings; more than 900 meetings with psychologists and mental health counselors to identify and manage issues such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, self-esteem, behavioral problems and family violence; and nearly 1,000 meetings to provide social services.

The honorees were selected from among 112 nominees. An independent panel of experts with state and national expertise in community health best practices selected the winners in each category. Since 2005, Florida Blue Foundation has presented 73 Sapphire Awards, totaling more than $3.75 million, to 15 individuals and 58 programs and organizations from across Florida.

“We are honored today to recognize these community health leaders and nonprofits who embody our Foundation’s mission to provide practical solutions for their clients,” said Susan Towler, Florida Blue Foundation vice president. “The Foundation is proud to recognize them for the excellent work they are doing to make Florida a healthier state.”

More information about the University of Miami Pediatric Mobile Clinic can be found here.

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