When families without insurance experience illness, most have to visit an emergency room for a common cold and subject their children to a crowded waiting room with seriously ill patients. Many families with no insurance skip healthcare altogether, afraid of mounting costs in the hope that their kids will get better.
United Way of Southern Nevada’s vision is that children have access to health care to successfully start and stay in school, creating a healthy cycle of life. UWSN provides funding to Helping Kids Clinic, a neighborhood clinic that provides medical care to children from birth to age 18 who either don’t have medical insurance, are underinsured or who need other options.
According to Susan Brooks, the chief executive officer of the Helping Kids Clinic, families have come to the center with ailments as simple as a common cold, but some enter their doors with life-threatening diseases such as undiagnosed breast cancer.
“For many families, they don’t want to visit an emergency room and they have no other options,” said Susan Brooks.
The center has also helped diagnose a baby with a hole in its heart and a child with scabies.
“United Way has really helped us out. Last year, we were open three days a week, now we are open five days a week, and we are going to open some evenings and weekends also,” said Susan. “This gives patients a lot more options and helps us to see more children.”
According to Susan, Helping Kids Clinic provides a safe haven for families, a place where they feel comfortable and receive the critical care they need.
“The kids love us and we love these kids,” said Susan. “Most of them don’t have insurance so they don’t have a lot of options for health care. We can help them, educate them on how to have a healthy lifestyle and make a positive impact on their life.”