Springfield Public Schools to get own CARE Mobile from CoxHealth starting next school year

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 5:56 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, Springfield Public Schools will receive a CARE Mobile from CoxHealth. It will provide medical services to students all across the district.

The CARE Mobile is a pediatric clinic on wheels, a partnership between CoxHealth, the Children’s Miracle Network, and a large family of supporters. It provides free essential health services to students, such as vision and hearing tests, immunization and flu clinics, wellness exams, and sports physicals.

“Yeah, we just got notice that MSHAA (Missouri State High School Activities Association) is going to be requiring band physicals, so we are going to stay extremely busy,” said Shannon Jones, the CoxHealth CMN Care Coordinator.

One CARE Mobile already travels to schools in the 26 counties that CMN serves, but this new one will be assigned specifically to Springfield.

“As the largest district in the state, we’re not using all the resources for our students because it’s a blessing to all the communities,” explained Lee Ann Neill, the SPS Coordinator of Health Services. “So the unit they currently have can continue to go out to serve other communities.”

“And it gives us the flexibility to have the second unit still cover the 26 counties that we normally cover,” Jones added.

If you’re wondering why they don’t use both units to cover all the counties, Springfield, with its 24,500 students and 52 campuses, is a full-time job.

“This unit will stay extremely busy just serving Springfield,” Jones said.

“Our school nurses, when they hear the CARE Mobile is coming to their site, they say to me, ‘I can fill that bus!’” Neill said.

All services on the CARE Mobile are staffed by nurse practitioners working with local physicians who serve as medical directors. They will offer primary health care to children ages two months through 18 years old.

“If there are other things that need to be done, they can be referred right away,” Neill pointed out.

It is medical care many families might not be able to afford. Plus, it keeps parents from leaving their jobs to take their children to a doctor.

“The convenience of it for a parent is not to have to be present as long as consent is given,” Jones said.

“So it’s not only a cost-savings, but it’s a time-saver,” Neill added. “Parents can stay at work, and students are getting their healthcare taken care of right at the door of the school.”

The recent pandemic was another example of how much mobile health care is needed.

“Our numbers have actually doubled in the past couple of years,” Jones said.

“It’s just another area that we can break down those barriers and help students and their families get what they need to be healthy and ready to learn,” Neill said.

To learn more about the CARE Mobile, you can call 417-269-5437 or visit

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