Supporting Healthy Families
For a decade, Glennon Card has offered St. Louisians a way to support local businesses while also providing compassionate medical care for children in our community. Every fall, proceeds from the program go toward a different initiative benefiting young patients at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Since 2011, Glennon Card has raised more than $1.87 million to support surgical advances, diagnostic technology and important resources like the hospital’s milk lab. This year, proceeds will go toward programs like Danis Pediatric Center, which provides outpatient pediatric care to children regardless of their families’ ability to pay.
Danis Pediatric Center serves newborns and those who are 18 years old or younger at both its locations—Cardinal Glennon and its midtown clinic. Along with checkups and physicals, SLUCare Physician Group pediatricians provide diagnostic services and second opinions for complex cases. That’s just one of the benefits of the center’s association with Cardinal Glennon, according to Dr. Heidi Sallee, a SLUCare physician and the center’s medical director. “Along with our faculty, there are currently 56 residents training to be primary care physicians who spend time in our clinic,” she notes.
Around 75% of Danis Pediatric patients live below the poverty line, and Danis Pediatric Center is dedicated to providing more than just health care. The center also works to help entire families thrive by connecting them with important resources. During well child checkups, families are given a questionnaire to determine the challenges they are facing. The questions cover topics like food insecurity, parental depression, housing concerns and more. “People don’t often think to tell their pediatricians if they’re having difficulty paying utilities or meeting other needs,” Sallee says. “When we started asking those questions, we were surprised to learn that 7% of our families needed help accessing food.”
Danis Pediatric Center works with organizations like St. Louis Area Diaper Bank and Operation Food Search to supply families with necessary resources, and its Danis CARES program offers more support, including help coordinating transportation and providing access to social workers and family navigators. “It’s an outstanding program that touches so many of our families,” Sallee says. “At the end of the day, it’s impactful to know that we are supporting the growth and development of our patients beyond purely medical needs. As pediatricians, we feel like we are making a difference.”
The clinic was originally designed to provide services to 5,000 patients annually, but now its two locations handle more than 20,000 visits each year. Fundraisers like Glennon Card help make further growth possible, so more families can access important care and resources. “I was a graduating resident at Cardinal Glennon in 1998, and Danis Pediatric Center is bigger than ever,” Sallee says. “We appreciate the support of the community, and we are excited for what the future holds because of it.”
Purchase a Glennon Card at glennoncard.org for 10 days of major savings at local retailers and eateries Oct. 15-24.
Photo courtesy of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital