Seton unveils new Care-a-Van to serve low-income and uninsured children

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF

BURNET — After a decade and more than 7,000 miles, officials with Seton Highland Lakes have replaced the aging Seton Kids Care-A-Van with a new mobile healthcare unit that serves low-income and uninsured children.

Seton Kids Care-a-VanPHOTO 1: David Schmidt (left) and his wife, Shirley Schmidt, a Highland Lakes Health Fund board member, tour the new Seton Kids Care-a-Van on Feb. 14 in Burnet with Marjorie and David Bronk. The new mobile healthcare unit for children is larger and features upgraded amenities. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

PHOTO 2: The new Seton Kids Care-a-Van was unveiled Feb. 14 at Seton Highland Lakes in Burnet. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

Seton Kids Care-a-VanAbout 100 supporters and community leaders attended the unveiling of the new Care-A-Van on Feb. 14 on the hospital grounds.

“Our average number of children we see are around 2,000 children per year,” said Becky Fox, Seton Highland Lakes director of development. “We’re hoping to be able to even grow that number and serve more children.”

The Care-A-Van serves various campuses, including elementary schools in Burnet, Bertram, Marble Falls and Kingsland.

“It’s a critical service because there are family who do not have access to healthcare here,” she said. “This goes to where the families are, to the schools. It’s families who are working, but they don’t qualify for healthcare. Access and transportation are an issue, too.”

Services include treatment for minor illnesses, immunizations, sports physicals, well-child checks and medications. Staff manage chronic diseases including asthma and diabetes.

Samantha Melvin, an art teacher at R.J. Richey Elementary School who attended the event, said the services make a difference in her classroom.

“I’m extremely supportive because it supports the children I serve. We need to be able to provide medical support to those who can’t get to the hospital themselves,” she said. “When the students are coming to school, if they don’t have the means to cover the costs, it makes learning very difficult. They need to be healthy and be able to learn.”

The older unit is scheduled to be re-purposed for use at another Seton facility, officials said.

Funding for the new mobile medical unit was provided by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the annual Emory Bellard-Spike Dykes Kids Care-a-Van Golf Classic and donors including Woody and Donna McCasland Children’s Healthcare Endowment, Horseshoe Bay Associates and the Estate of Frank Fickett.

connie@thepicayune.com