Teen Van and other support services help our community
When Caroline Kambic’s father suffered a recent layoff, the East Palo Alto teenager lost the health coverage she needed to manage her diabetes. Without insurance, the Kambic family faced overwhelming monthly medical bills.
Caroline’s story is all too familiar to many California families. The economic downturn has resulted in skyrocketing rates of unemployment, usually accompanied by a loss of health insurance. Facing this predicament of decreasing aid and increasing need, many struggling families with a sick child are turning to Packard Children’s for help.
Economic pressures exacerbate the feelings of stress and helplessness that sick children and their families often already face. Though parents would like to be at their sick child’s bedside, many cannot take time off from work for fear of losing their jobs. Some families have been thrust into homelessness due to a foreclosure on their rented home.
In times like these, Packard Children’s plays a crucial role as a safety net health care provider. The Housing Assistance program works especially hard to connect families with local hotels or home stays. The Chaplaincy seeks new and creative ways to find alternative resources, such as engaging local church networks. And Adolescent Health Services, affectionately known as the Teen Van, has increased its outreach to local underserved adolescents.
And Caroline? Fortunately, the Teen Van makes regular visits to East Palo Alto High. The team, led by Seth Ammerman, MD, helped Caroline’s father enroll her in Healthy Families, a low-cost insurance program. Providers at Packard now carefully follow Caroline’s diabetes and make sure she receives the care that she needs and deserves.