Success Stories/Testimonials


David Harper is a cheerful, curious African-American 7 year old who lives with his mother Monique. She works long hours at McDonald’s and has high hopes for her children's futures.

David has asthma and often has such bad wheezing that he misses several days of school. David also has a speech problem and although speech therapy was started at a previous school it has not been offered at his new school. Because of school absences and changes, David is starting to fall behind academically. His mother was recently assaulted by a boyfriend and he sometimes daydreams in school because he is worried about her safety.

At a typical pediatric visit, the physician would inquire about David's asthma, renew his prescriptions, and perhaps feel frustrated if David's mother did not completely follow-through with his treatment regimen. The physician may not understand some of the barriers Monique faces - that her work schedule and low income make it challenging for her to attend medical appointments and buy all of his medicine.

Monique hears from a neighbor that there is a primary care clinic where doctors "try to understand what's really going on with you.” The clinic offers evening appointments when Monique cannot get time off during the day. Before the visit, she completes a screening checklist which makes the physician aware of some of the challenges the family faces. In the waiting room, a volunteer reads to David's younger brother Marcus and encourages Monique to read to Marcus daily to help him be successful when he enters kindergarten.

The physician talks to her about the challenges in managing David's asthma and together they problem-solve about how to overcome some barriers. He asks a Behavioral Health Coordinator to refer her to a domestic violence agency which helps her obtain a protective order. She is referred to the Health and Law Partnership (HeLP) and an attorney writes a letter to David's school which results in immediate reinstitution of his speech therapy.

David's asthma is better controlled. He begins attending school regularly and becomes more academically successful and self-confident. David is a composite child, but very representative of the children for which the Urban Health Program was developed.

The PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health offers an innovative model of pediatric care, in which the physician actively elicits and addresses the variety of factors which impact the health of at-risk urban children. The environmental and social determinants of health are identified and addressed in an effective manner and the overall outcomes for children are improved.



Reach Out and Read "Testimonials" from the Primary Care Clinic (PCC) at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta by R. Hudson, Academic Success Coordinator

Dear Rhonda,

Thanks so much for your stimulating introduction to the Reach Out and Read program at CHOA; our five international students are very enthusiastic about volunteering and are anxious to get started.
Again, thanks for your orientation on Monday and for your and Sondra’s continued support of our students’ service learning experience in Atlanta.

Dr. Joy Smith shared with me that she gave a (sense of touch) book to a visually impaired child and the mom and the child were SUPER excited! The child was able to rub his hands on the pages of the book as the mom read to him in order to make the text come alive. She said it was a wonderful moment and she was relieved that she had a book that she could give the child through Reach Out Read. What volumes that speaks to the program and its effect on increasing literacy awareness to our children and their families.

Dr. Veda Johnson: When I was in clinic yesterday someone from the ER came over and asked if she could get a book for a 3 year old who had asked if he could have one. She was amazed by the fact that he knew to ask. This demonstrates how ROR affects even the little ones and how it impacts the care of children no matter where that care is received at Hughes.