Virtua drives health care to your door

Pediatric health care system goes mobile

Justin Udo
June 07, 2018 - 2:32 pm
Virtua's new Pediatric Mobile Services unit is bringing dental screenings, flu shots and more out of the hospital and into neighborhoods.

Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio

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CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — A South Jersey health care system is helping some of its youngest patients by bringing hospital services right to their front door — all for free.

Virtua's new Pediatric Mobile Services unit is bringing dental screenings, flu shots and more out of the hospital and into neighborhoods.

"We are bringing services to children in underserved urban and rural communities," said Virtua speech-language pathologist Maria Emerson, "who are lacking desperately services for checking on their development."

Emerson said the colorful, kid-friendly van comes equipped with amenities like toys and games in an effort to take some of the anxiety off their young patients.

"They have giveaways while they're waiting. There's bubbles and sidewalk chalk and coloring pages, so it's really fun," she added. "We don't want it to be scary."

Virtua speech-language pathologist Maria Emerson said the van comes equipped with amenities like toys and games in an effort to take some of the anxiety off their young patients.
Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio

For now, Virtua is piloting the mobile unit in the city of Camden three days a week.

"Our goal is to go to Burlington, Camden, Gloucester counties, in any urban or rural underserved community," Emerson said.

The van's services — made possible through a partnership between Virtua and the Joseph Lacroce Foundation — are available for infants through 5 year olds. 

The mobile unit also provides resources to the families right then and there if there are any issues.

"We refer them immediately," Emerson continued. "There is no going home with a piece of paper and forgetting to do it. We do it immediately."