Houston businessman and philanthropist Jerold B. Katz had humble beginnings, growing up in the America of the 1930s and 1940s. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he was a child of the Great Depression, and his family struggled to make ends meet. Katz’s youth was one of hardship and toil, so he took on multiple jobs as a youth and into his early adulthood to scrape together funds for his family.
It drove Mr. Katz and his family foundation, the Jerold B. Katz Foundation, to fund CARESQUAD — a bright yellow, fully equipped mobile medical clinic, which is the newest addition to the Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic Program.
“My father still vividly recalls his impoverished youth, when health care was a luxury that his family could not afford,” said his son, Evan H. Katz. “His family needed help — and it simply did not exist. This gift speaks to that simple notion: lending a hand to our neighbors in need.”
To meet the growing need for basic health care in low-income communities across the greater Houston area, Texas Children’s Hospital launched the Mobile Clinic Program in 2000 with the fully-equipped SuperKids Pediatric Mobile Clinic. In 2006, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile joined the fleet.
Since the program’s inception, nearly 90,000 patients — many of whom are uninsured — have been treated, receiving services that include physicals, medical examinations, vaccinations and immunizations, routine laboratory tests, and hearing and vision screenings. The clinics also provide valuable education in areas such as injury prevention and nutrition, and assist families in applying for public health insurance.
The new CARESQUAD Mobile Medical Clinic provides the same Texas Children’s care as the two larger mobile clinics but with a smaller physical “tire print.” The mini-mobile clinic enables Texas Children’s caregivers and volunteers to reach families in neighborhoods all over the region with narrow streets and limited parking where the larger mobile clinics can’t travel.
The Mobile Clinic Program is made possible only through the extraordinary generosity of Texas Children’s supporters. Without this philanthropy, families in these underserved areas would be forced to seek care elsewhere or even do without.
“The addition of the CARESQUAD to the Mobile Clinic Program is already making a huge difference in the lives of so many children and their families,” said Dr. Sanghamitra Misra, medical director of the program. “We are so grateful to the Jerold B. Katz Foundation for making the clinic possible.”
For the Katzes, this gift is near and dear to the family. The family is proud to do their part in helping care for the community’s underserved children.
“This clinic helps to serve those who are most in need,” said Evan H. Katz. “This is very much at the heart of what the Foundation has always tried to do.”