Paying for a basic doctor's visit is often impossible for low-income teens and young adults. That's why Seth Ammerman, MD, has been bringing free health care to young people in the communities around Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford for nearly two decades. Ammerman, an adolescent medicine specialist at the hospital, is the founder and medical director of the hospital's Adolescent Health Van, a mobile clinic that makes regular visits to high schools, community centers and other stops between San Francisco and San Jose.
Now, Ammerman's work has been recognized with a Bay Area Jefferson Award for Public Service from our local CBS affiliate, KPIX-5. In the news segment CBS aired about Ammerman's work, they mention that his efforts began years ago with free immunizations for local teens. But he soon realized that the kids he saw needed much more than just immunizations. "Dr. A," as his patients affectionately call him, now addresses a wide range of adolescent health concerns in the teen van - including alcohol and drug use, anxiety and depression, high-risk sexual behaviors, poor nutrition, and, yes, lack of immunizations. His team in the van includes a nurse-practitioner, a social worker and a dietitian.
"The kids that we work with, a lot of people have given up on them," Ammerman says in the CBS news segment. "But we haven't. We know that we can help these kids turn their lives around."
Congratulations, Dr. Ammerman! And a hat-tip to Steve Westly of the Westly Foundation, who nominated Dr. Ammerman for the award.
Previously: Packard Children's Adolescent Health Van celebrates 15 years
Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford