Providing preventative and emergency care for youth across the globe

March 31st, 2022

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Rockford, IL, as well as Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs across the globe highlight the need for preventive and emergency care for youth. RMHC continues its successful trend in providing family-centered care through innovation, flexibility, and understanding the communities it serves whether in Rockford, Ukraine, or Poland.

Through its Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program, RMHC-Madison in partnership with Mercyhealth focuses on providing physical examinations, vaccinations, and mental health screenings to middle school and high school children who too often lack access to primary care physicians and mental health providers.

“We are basically a mobile pediatric office, and we provide free medical care for kids who don’t have insurance or who have Medicaid. One of the key tenets of a visit with us is educating them about their lives and about their health,” said Toni Ellingson, Nurse Practitioner and Manager of the Care Mobile.

If you have ever caught a glimpse of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, you know how iconic this bright rolling pediatric clinic can be! Bumper to bumper, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is 40 feet long containing two medical bays and a lab, covered with playful characters which can ease children’s fears of medical visits.  Rolling between schools and Mercyhealth over a five-county area, this cheery blue mobile care unit is a shining example of proactive healthcare serving families in need.

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is an integral part of the RMHC-Madison mission by providing free wellness checks and immunizations to hundreds of underserved families each year.  Toni Ellingson and Shannon Belmonte move mountains as the sole nurse practitioners, and their devotion makes a tremendous difference in these communities. A recent segment on WREX-Rockford captured the essence of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

Next year as a Global system, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program. While RMHC-Madison understands their deep value to our mission, global events over the past month have shone an even brighter light on these mobile care units.

As millions of Ukrainian refugees poured out of their war-ravaged country last month, RMHC-Poland and RMHC-Latvia quickly sent their Ronald McDonald Care Mobile units to the borders.  These Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles are now providing immediate emergency medical support to the refugees fleeing Ukraine for safety. Can you imagine how hopeful this sight must be for weary and beleaguered families? That bright iconic pediatric clinic means safety, comfort, and warmth for families as they cross the border. Learn more about the response.

Agility and innovation have been a cornerstone of our global mission during the pandemic, and we are inspired by the work of other RMHC Chapters across the world during times of need. Ronald McDonald House Charities, with 378 chapters across the globe in 45 countries continue to make us proud. Thank you, Toni, Shannon, and staff, across the world for the care you deliver to children and families each day.


Related news coverage

Ronald McDonald Care Mobile helping kids learn to love their health (WREX Rockford)

Learn more about the RMHC Global response to the crisis in Ukraine (CBS Chicago)