TAMPA, Fla.-- St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital has teamed up with Metropolitan Ministries to help bring quality healthcare to some of the Bay area’s most vulnerable families.

  • Mobile clinic goes to Metropolitan Ministries every Friday
  • Partnership with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital
  • Helps keep kids healthy and bring parents peace of mind

For years, the hospital has brought a mobile clinic to the shelter to help with routine physicals, immunizations, vision and hearing screenings.

Now, it's taking that care one step further by treating minor illnesses like colds, stomach bugs, ear infections, allergies and rashes.

"Our role is to help lift that burden from families so they can focus on other things like if they need employment they can focus on that or just the other day to day things they need to do to raise children," said Kate Kennedy, mobile clinic coordinator.

Tara Carlson took her 18-month-old son to the clinic after he started running a high fever. The two live at Metropolitan Ministries. She doesn’t have a car and said getting to a doctor is always a struggle.

"I would have had to take the bus with a sick baby and then I'd have to drive all the way to MLK to his doctors and that's if they had an available appointment," Carlson said.

Metropolitan Ministries leaders said so many other families are in the same boat.

"They've lost everything in some cases many of them have been living in their cars or doubled up with other families, they have no way to bring their kids to a doctor," said Ariel Gibbs, marketing and communications manager. 

Hospital leaders said children living in poverty experience higher rates of acute and chronic disease, developmental and psychological issues, and overall poor health outcomes.

They want to help keep kids healthy and bring their parents some peace of mind.

The mobile clinic comes to Metropolitan Ministries every Friday.

Last year, BayCare contributed a total of $391 million in charity care, Medicaid and other income-based programs.