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The Division of Community Pediatrics at MedStar Health provides the quality health care families need, right in local neighborhoods and schools. Our expert team offers a full range of healthcare services to every child in our community, regardless of insurance status. Since 1992, the Division of Community Pediatrics has served more than 7,000 children with over 60,000 patient visits.

“We know that in order to live healthy lives, children and families need access not only to high quality health care, but also to safe and strong neighborhoods, an excellent education, healthy food, and active play” says Division Chief, Janine A. Rethy, MD, MPH.


The Division of Community Pediatrics is committed to growing the community primary care workforce. Since the 1980s, the number of American medical school graduates pursuing primary care specialties has decreased and falls far short of filling available Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots. Studies have shown that training primary care specialists within the context of a public health framework that focuses on the social mission of community medical care can create a dependable primary care workforce development pipeline.

Our training engages learners in experiential learning and provides the opportunity to learn and apply the principles of community health including the social determinants and community health systems.

We host a bi-monthly Community Pediatrics Academic meeting as a tool for teaching evidence-based themed content including best-practice guidelines, case studies, journal reviews and expert speakers, as well as fostering leadership development, presentation skills for learners, team-building, and collaborative multidisciplinary problem solving.

The Division of Community Pediatrics also mentors several learners a year both in Pediatrics and Public Health in longitudinal applied community health research projects such as breastfeeding education, trauma-informed care, and asthma best practices.

Undergraduate medical education in community pediatrics

The Division of Community Pediatrics is a site for the School of Medicine’s third year pediatric clerkship as well as for two fourth-year electives. In addition, there are opportunities to work with faculty of community-based projects, QI projects, and research.

Graduate medical education in community pediatrics

All PGY-1 Pediatric Residents spend a month on Community Pediatrics. There is also the opportunity to enroll in the Community Health Track in order to become proficient in core principles of community medicine and public health, work with mentors in the field, and engage in community-centered projects or research. Learn more.

Community pediatrics fellowship

Community pediatrics fellowship is a three-year program that includes a Masters in Public Health where fellows will emerge with the skills, knowledge, and experience for a career in clinical community pediatrics, academic medicine, public health, government, or policy.

Health systems administration

Community pediatrics is an internship site for undergraduate students earning a degree in Healthcare Management and Policy at Georgetown University. The intern supports a process improvement project focused on quality, safety, or operations  and provides students the opportunity to develop both knowledge of and an appreciation for the clinical and the administrative aspects involved in the delivery of care.

Community pediatrics KIDS mobile medical clinic/Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®

Kids mobile medical clinic

Since 1992, the Division of Community Pediatrics’ KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic/Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® (KMMC/RMCM) has provided high-quality, convenient, and affordable primary care to children and adolescents across Washington D.C. Each year, KMMC/RMCM reaches an average of 800 patients with approximately 1,200 patient visits.

Four days a week, you’ll find us providing comprehensive pediatric primary care in our beautiful, state-of-the-art, 300-square-foot mobile unit. We are currently providing services in Wards 6 and 7. Our locations include public housing communities where over 2,000 children live, as well as a residential charter school serving children affected by the foster care system.

We provide a true medical home, and do everything we can to make it easier to access the health care services children need.

Services include regular check-ups, sick visits, immunizations, chronic disease management for ongoing health concerns like asthma, mental health and developmental screenings and evaluations, and coordination to specialty care and community-based services.

Services

Primary and integrated care

  • Well-child visits
  • Sports physicals
  • Immunizations
  • Chronic disease management
  • Acute care and sick visits
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Substance abuse screening
  • Counseling and treatment regarding birth control and gynecologic infections
  • Mental health screening, counseling, and behavioral health services
  • Oral health screenings
  • Fluoride Varnish treatment

Laboratory services

  • On-site testing for strep throat, urinary tract and bladder infections, blood glucose, and more
  • Phlebotomy (blood draws) for all relevant lab tests

Eligibility

Accepts all patients from birth to age 21

Children are seen regardless of insurance status. Our care comes with no direct cost to patients—families will never be billed for care. MedStar Health offers free medical interpretation in 175 languages, including American Sign Language.

Pediatric classroom

Community pediatrics school-based health centers

In partnership with DC Health, The Division of Community Pediatrics at MedStar Health operates two school-based health centers (SBHCs) at D.C. Public Schools. These sites are located at Anacostia High School in Ward 8 and Roosevelt High School in Ward 4.

Both MedStar Georgetown-operated SBHC locations first began as KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic/Ronald Mcdonald Care Mobile® (KMMC/RMCM) locations, later transforming into permanent centers. Each SBHC works closely with community partners in order to provide the best possible care.

The Ward 4 and Ward 8 SBHCs allow students to access high-quality health care conveniently, without worrying about finding transportation to an appointment, missing school, or not having insurance. The SBHCs can serve as a student’s primary healthcare provider, or supplement care received elsewhere. Each SBHC offers medical, oral, social, mental health, and referral services.

Services offered by school-based health centers

The SBHCs provide a wide range services, including:

Primary and preventive care

  • Well-child visits
  • Sports physicals
  • Immunizations
  • Chronic disease management
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Acute care and sick visits
  • Substance abuse screening
  • Mental health screenings

Reproductive/sexual health services

  • Provided by MedStar Health’s Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting (TAPP) Program
  • Confidential family planning and pregnancy testing
  • Confidential Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing, counseling, and treatment
  • Prenatal care

Behavioral health

  • Behavioral healthcare
  • Mental health screening, counseling, and psychiatric services

Oral health

  • Oral health screening and examination
  • Fluoride varnish treatment
  • Education and counseling

Laboratory services

  • On-site testing for strep throat, urinary tract and bladder infections, blood glucose, and more
  • Phlebotomy (blood draws) for all relevant lab tests

Accepting enrolled students and their children

Our providers welcome all enrolled students at Anacostia or Roosevelt high schools, as well as any children of enrolled students.

Our care comes with no direct cost to patients—families will not be billed for care. If students do not have insurance, a case manager is available to help students apply, but a lack of insurance is never a barrier to care. MedStar Health offers free medical interpretation in 175 languages, including American Sign Language.

Available where and when patients need us

The SBHCs are open during the school day, including lunchtime, so that students can access services easily. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout the school year. We remain open during the summer and school breaks on a modified schedule. An on-call physician is always available, even when the SBHCs are closed.

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Community pediatrics: the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® focused on FITNESS program

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® focused on FITNESS (Fun In Teaching Nutrition and Exercise to Successful Students) is operated in association with Ronald McDonald house charities® of Greater Washington, D.C. The program is a school-based initiative designed to get children and families moving, eating well, and enjoying good health.

Though the FITNESS program, the division of community pediatrics at MedStar Health aims to support the whole student, the whole family, and the whole community. FITNESS staff works with school administrators, staff, and teachers to create a culture of wellness and to organize activities that promote good health.

The FITNESS program was launched in the 2017-2018 school year at three elementary schools and two middle schools in Washington, D.C. Each year, we engage with up to four new schools for school and community health transformation and capacity building. As new sites are added, we continue engaging with previous participating schools for an additional year in order to ensure ongoing sustainability.

FITNESS program elements

  • Nutrition and physical activity programming for children and families
    • Physical activity and nutrition education opportunities for students before, during, and after school
    • Family Fit Nights that engage children and families in fun exercise activities
    • Cooking Matters, a hands-on cooking class that teaches healthy meal prep—and even ventures out to the grocery store for a tour of where to find nutritious options
    • Body Mass Index (BMI) screenings and resources to help students and families make healthy choices in their communities
  • Teacher and staff training and capacity building
    • Active wellness committees in each FITNESS school
    • Integrated evidence-based nutrition education into existing curriculum to meet guidelines
    • Teacher training to integrate physical activity into classrooms
  • FITNESS Intensive Program
    • Multidisciplinary model of care including screening for and addressing social determinants of health
    • FITNESS Intensive Program for students with a BMI above the 85th percentile
    • Participating students and their families meet with a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, and pediatrician at nine weekly after-school sessions. Services are provided in our 40-foot care mobile, parked right at the school
  • Community engagement
    • Referrals to community-based nutrition and physical activity services
    • Community partnership to improve access to healthy foods
    • Programming events at local health fairs and summer camps

Vision and mission of community pediatrics

In line with MedStar Health’s vision to be the trusted leader in caring for people and advancing health, the Division of Community Pediatrics ensures that every child has the opportunity to thrive and be healthy. We are committed to helping our community attain health equity.

Our team provides access to evidence-based, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate health care to those who need it most. Our services and programs aim to decrease health disparities and train the next generation of community-oriented healthcare professionals.

 

Clinical services from community pediatrics

Doctor checking young girl

On behalf of the children and families we serve, the Division of Community Pediatrics extends deepest gratitude to current and future funders of our meaningful work. The Division of Community Pediatrics gives individuals, private foundations, government agencies, and corporate partners the opportunity to impact health outcomes in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

Much more than “charity care,” the Division of Community Pediatrics tests models of health education and healthcare systems delivery to create lasting change in public health. Our involvement in the local and national community pediatric landscapes ensures collaborative, cutting-edge, data-driven, and scalable solutions to some of today’s most pressing causes of population health disparities. Fully philanthropically funded for more than 25 years, the Division of Community Pediatrics empowers families to shape healthy futures for their children.

Thanks to the breadth and depth of the Division of Community Pediatrics' operations, donors can support the health and wellness of children, families, and communities with direct investments in:

Clinical services provided by community pediatrics

  • KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic/Ronald Mcdonald Care Mobile (KMMC/RMCM): Funds support staffing, equipment, and supplies so that families can receive care without the barriers of insurance status and travel. The mobile medical clinic provides holistic, integrated primary care at designated sites four days a week in Washington, D.C. neighborhoods.
  • The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile focused on FITNESS: Quality food is the basis of lasting health. For families experiencing food insecurity, nutritional choices can make a difference in children’s life-long well-being. An investment in the FITNESS (Fun In Teaching Nutrition and Exercise to Successful Students) program is an investment in healthy futures for families.
  • School-based health clinics: Caring for children where they learn has created a revolutionary shift in healthcare access. As school-based healthcare models grow and expand, co-located health education, mental health, social support, and community resources give children and emerging adults the care they need to live healthy lives. Located at Anacostia Senior High School in Ward 8 and Roosevelt Senior High School in Ward 4, these comprehensive primary care clinics are operated in partnership with DC Health’s Community Health Administration and D.C. Public Schools.
  • Community outreach and engagement: Donor support for community outreach provides the Division of Community Pediatrics the resources to be ever-present at health fairs and events where families can learn about the importance of proactive healthy living.

Medical education and advancement of community pediatrics

Research has shown that medical students engaged in community health programs go on to provide care in similar settings – filling identified gaps in the healthcare workforce. Philanthropic support for the Division of Community Pediatrics' medical education prepares some of today’s brightest minds to work in the field of primary community-based health promotion and care.

Community outreach and engagement

Community Pediatrics is dedicated to promoting health through both service and education. Our team participates in many community outreach and engagement activities throughout the year.

Innovation and partnerships

We partner with clinical, community, and government agencies to create innovative solutions for optimizing health and well-being. Some examples include:

Community pediatrics medical and academic education

We are committed to training the doctors of tomorrow to deliver high-quality, community-oriented care. The Division of Community Pediatrics serves as a critical educational component of the Department of Pediatrics medical student and residency training programs and offers the opportunity for Fellowship training in Community Pediatrics.

In addition to teaching the fundamentals of primary community care, our Community Pediatrics medical education program offers learners the opportunity to engage in experiential community health learning at all of our sites, as well as with partner community service providers such as D.C. Child and Family Services Agency, Joyful Markets, and WIC.  Our faculty engages in ongoing research, quality improvement, and evidence-based program development and evaluation. We mentor students, residents, and fellows to learn through these projects, and often to lead them.

Our team

Our highly trained team includes physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, a registered dietitian, an exercise physiologist, mental health providers, and an administrative support team. We partner with local schools and community groups to build strong relationships with the families we serve.

Our providers

Pediatrics specialist examining girl child

Expert pediatric care

Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our pediatricians.

Additional information

To learn more about our Community Pediatrics program, please call

202-444-8888

Ways to give

Map of our services

This map displays where our clinical services are located.

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