What happens when a child needs medical care, but lacks access or funds for treatment? For many Americans, the answer is to get on the Big Blue Bus. Sponsored by the non-profit Children’s Health Fund and staffed by doctors and nurses, the mobile clinics travel around cities giving free check-ups and consultations. The service can be a lifesaver for low-income families or homeless teens. “We know that homeless youth are not going to come to a hospital or health center unless it’s an emergency,” Big Blue Bus veteran Dr. Alan Shapiro recently told NBC News. “So we bring the mobile clinic to them.” Shapiro, who works mostly in the South Bronx where half of children live below the poverty line, has treated thousands of kids in the 20 years he’s been working on the mobile clinics. There are more than 50 Big Blue Buses operating across the country in places such as Michigan, Louisiana and West Virginia. According to the Children’s Health Fund’s website, the organization has helped 200,000 children in some of the most disadvantaged rural and urban communities in the nation.
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