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The Nicklaus Children's Hospital mobile health unit is fitted with two dental operatory suites to serve children 12 years old and younger.

Photo courtesy of Nicklaus Children's Hospital


Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami, is connecting the area's underserved children with dental care via a 40-foot mobile unit fitted with telehealth applications. The hospital launched the mobile health unit last month as part of its vision “to be where the children are” in South Florida and beyond.

Each week, a team of two dental assistants, a dental resident and a pediatric dentist stations itself in various underserved locations to provide screenings, exams, treatments, oral and health-hygiene education, and other services for underinsured children 12 years and younger.

The mobile unit is equipped with two dental operatory suites as well as state-of-the-art telehealth equipment that enables two-way communication between the mobile unit team and dental colleagues at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital who offer further medical support. Those colleagues will be able to view video and images as care challenges arise.

“Our goal is to provide early intervention and reduce complications by bringing our services directly to the communities that need them most,” says Rosie Roldan, M.D., medical director of the department of dentistry at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. “We are so excited to make this a reality, and look forward to changing the lives of children in our communities.”

Nicklaus Children’s mobile health unit is another example of how health care systems are reaching deeper into their communities by breaking out of traditional walls. It also adds a new dimension to telehealth. Many telehealth applications demonstrate the ability to connect remotely between brick-and-mortar facilities, but a mobile health unit fitted with telemedicine that can travel to patients no matter where they are brings greater flexibility to remote connectivity.

The hospital’s program is free to its community and is being sponsored by community philanthropists. View the video below for a glimpse of the hospital’s unveiling ceremony.