Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare
Hi there! My name is Kristine Luz (she/her/hers) and I currently serve as a Community Outreach and Population Health Liaison for the Advocate Children’s Hospital’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. The Care Mobile is a beautiful clinic on wheels that serves approximately 400 schools in Chicago and the neighboring suburbs. It provides an opportunity to break down barriers to receiving quality healthcare for students and their families regardless of their ability to pay, proof of citizenship, or other exclusionary practices that contribute to health disparities. All school health services, both at the mobile clinics and the school-based health center, are provided free of cost to uninsured and underinsured school age students. Services are provided at school which allows families to be at work and students to be in school. Our team brings health services to the patients, breaking down barriers of transportation and access.
As a Community Outreach and Population Health Liaison, I assist the school health team in assessing the patients’ needs and expanding access to life changing resources such as primary and dental care that accept Medicaid or no insurance, food pantries, shelters, health insurance enrollment assistance, and many other important community resources.
In just 2019, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile served almost 4000 students across Chicago and the surrounding areas. Providing health services free of charge and sharing resources that allow students and their families to receive affordable quality healthcare and access necessities such as food and clothing has allowed my host site to help me address the National Health Corps’ focus area of supporting organizations that aim to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes in communities.
Although it has only been four months, serving with the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile has already been such an eye opening experience and has deepened my interest in a career in primary care. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help others and excited to spend the rest of my service term learning and breaking down barriers in healthcare through my role with the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and as a member of the National Health Corps Chicago.
Evergreen Park, IL 60805