Mobile program to offer free medical services to Prince George's County students

A new partnership in Prince George's County between medical providers and the school system is helping local children get better medical care.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker announced plans for the mobile program Wednesday.

Pamela Creekmur, a health officer for Prince George's County, said, "We lovingly call it 'convoy of care.' It's a collection of non-profits in our community who have mobile medical and dental care, and they are providing services to several of our middle schools in Prince George's County."

Stationed at local middle schools, several vans will travel to more than 170 high-need elementary, middle and high schools to give free dental care and medical check ups.

Parent consent is needed, and for those willing, the service is a blessing.

"Well, we're low income, so we take advantage of the free and low-income services that the county has," parent Neda Crouch of Oxon Hill, Md. said.

During the day, student will be allotted time for check-ups.

Karen Bates, the health supervisor for the public school system, explained keeping students healthy is crucial to development.

"If they're ill and not well, they cannot learn, and our job as school nurses is to bridge that gap between health, wellness and learning," Bates said.

The program is slated for the 2012-2013 school year, but parents of young children, like Mary Simpson, hope it continues.

Simpson said, "Well as a mother who doesn't have a car and has to metro, if it's mobile and if it's a lower cost, then I don't see why not. Why not try it?"

The program is free for students if they have medical insurance. If they don't, providers will work with parents to help pay for services.