Seven-year-old Jake, who has asthma, once made frequent trips to local emergency rooms for treatment.
Karen, 14, developed swollen lymph glands and a severe infection under both arms after using the same disposable razor with other family members to save money.
What these children now have in common is a place to go for their medical needs and for funds to cover the cost of lab testing, prescription drugs or personal hygiene products.
For almost 25 years, PediPlace has been a medical lifeline for children whose families do not have the resources for other health care providers. Patients receive Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits or are uninsured. PediPlace cares for 1,600 to 1,800 patients each month, which equates to 1,900 to 2,400 office visits.
“When somebody comes in, we are going to deal with everything while they are here,” said Larry Robins, President and CEO of the Lewisville-based nonprofit that now offers care at locations in Richardson and at Central Elementary School in Old Town Lewisville.
“There’s so much ‘no’ in health care. We’re all about saying ‘yes’ to our customers,” he said. “Our goal is to get to ‘yes’ as often as we can.”
Robins said the program has cut non-emergency trips to local hospital ERs as word has spread about the services available for children.
Nestled in the corner of an aging strip center off Old Orchard Lane, the nonprofit dedicates its funds to serving children from birth through age 18 rather than building a new facility.
Robins explained Pediplace’s vision for the future: “Number one is making health care available for every kid. We need to do that in two ways – continue to provide what we do today and enhance access to kids.”
PediPlace collaborated with Lewisville ISD to provide access to health care at one of the largest elementary schools in the region. The location is closer to neighborhoods in need of services, Robins said.
“Collaborating with a facility or entity charged with the welfare of kids made perfect sense.”
Similar demographics were found in Richardson, which is why a second branch opened at the corner of Belt Line and Coit roads.
Funds continue to be a challenge as medical expenses increase at higher rates than what federal programs reimburse. A single visit reimbursement might cover 50 percent of the actual cost, Robins said. That’s where philanthropic dollars come in handy. CoServ has provided grants to PediPlace, often for supplies not usually covered by other charitable contributions.
“There’s value added to CoServ dollars. You don’t just send the check,” Robins said.
“If a crisis occurs, we know we can call.”
Learn more about PediPlace.
How to Help:
$5,000: Free back-to-school sports physical clinic for 100 children
$2,500: Medication and lab-testing for uninsured children
$1,000: Annual checkups for 12 uninsured children
$500: Six recommended medical checkups for babies from birth up to 15 months
$250: Education for parents of newborn children
$100: Literacy promotion for children ages 6 months to 5 years
$80: Annual checkup to help a child stay healthy
$25: In-office visit when a child is ill