The support from Meijer will be used to purchase a mobile unit that will visit school districts in Northeast Ohio throughout the school year to provide any needed healthcare.
Looking to improve equity in children’s health care across Northeast Ohio, Meijer has donated $2 million to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s health care program to help purchase a mobile unit that provides medical care to kids while they are at school.
Children in Cleveland public schools are disproportionately affected by poverty, creating a need for access to primary care. The mobile unit, which acts as a full-service pediatric office, provides health and wellness services to students from kindergarten through 12th grade, including complete physical examinations, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness; immunizations; first aid and more. Children have access to services regardless of their health insurance status.
“We know education is a social determinant of health and can have a lifelong impact on a person’s health and wellbeing,” said Roopa Thakur, M.D., FAAP, pediatrician and medical director of Cleveland Clinic Children’s school-based health care program. “Missing school due to health concerns, or not accessing care because you don’t want to miss school, can disrupt a child’s long-term health and development. Our program aims to help combat this by offering pediatric health care services while also ensuring kids stay in school and parents don’t miss work for an office visit.”
The new mobile unit will visit school districts in Northeast Ohio regularly throughout the school year. This will be Cleveland Clinic Children’s second mobile unit.
Even when school is conducted virtually, the unit is on-site ensuring the ability to provide seamless and consistent care.
“This generous donation will help us serve our current patients and broaden our reach to others in need. The impact of this support is really immeasurable,” added Dr. Thakur.
In the 2019-2020 school year, the school-based health program served 1,894 unique patients. This year, the program hopes to expand patient enrollment in its partner districts:
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Step Forward Greater Cleveland
“Meijer cares deeply about the communities we serve, especially the health and wellbeing of the people who live in them,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. “We’re pleased to continue our partnership with Cleveland Clinic to not only expand convenient access to health care services for children, but to also meet them where they are — at school.”
Meijer’s relationship with Cleveland Clinic programs began in 2018 when it hosted a holiday party for Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital with donated toys and snacks for patients and families.
Additionally, the food retailer has continued to provide relief to its community throughout the pandemic. Recently, it donated $1 million in turkeys to 10 food banks within its footprint to help feed those in need.
In 2020 alone, Meijer donated $7.6 million to food pantries through its Simply Give Program.
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer operates more than 256 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 19 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.