Local mobile pediatric clinics to benefit from Red Nose Day

Clinics bring medical care to thousands of Detroit children


DETROIT – You might do a double take to see doctors and nurses sporting red noses. But there's a serious reason behind the silliness. These red noses are helping support two mobile pediatric clinics run by Henry Ford Hospital.

Named Hank and Clara, the mobile clinics visit children in Detroit schools and community centers every week. They bring medical care to thousands of children who would otherwise have trouble getting it consistently, including 12-year-old Jalen Herron.

"I get my medicine from here, and my allergies and my asthma are so good because I take my medicine when I'm supposed too," said Herron.

Dr. Elliott Attisha is the medical director for the program.

"These two mobile clinics basically function as pediatric offices on wheels," said Attisha.

The mobile clinics provide vaccinations, dispense medications, counsel children and even do basic lab testing. That access improves health and decreases school absences.

Over a quarter of Detroit's children don''t have transportation to get to a doctor.

"You also have a limited number of providers, and so access is difficult and what we've found is that for many of the families, even filling prescriptions is difficult," said Attisha.

These modified RV's bridge the gap, but running the mobile clinics is expensive and that's where Red Nose Day comes in. Henry Ford Hospital's partner in the mobile clinics, the Children's Health Fund, is one of the twelve beneficiaries for the Red Nose Day telethon.

Red Nose Day is new to the United States, but it's actually been around for 30 years. It was started in Great Britain by comedians in response to a famine in East Africa. Through the years, it has continued to raise money using the power of the media and celebrity, turning fun into funding for important causes.

"We were super excited to find out about the Red Nose campaign," said Attisha. "If somebody contributes to the Red Nose campaign it will allow us to continue the services that we provide."

There is also a separate fundraising page where you can contribute directly to the Henry Ford Mobile Clinic Program.

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