For more than 20 years, Dr. Ben Danielson and the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic have been critical supporters of our Early Learning Center (ELC) and our community. By providing essential pro bono, on-site health services for each of our students, Odessa Brown staff have helped the hundreds of children who enter our ELC start their experience with the best possible opportunity for success.
Dr. Danielson, a steadfast influencer and community advocate, has long inspired those around him with his dedication to helping homeless children at Wellspring. He refers to Odessa Brown’s collaboration with us as their most important and longest partnership in the community. To him, it is “a living manifestation of the saying, ‘You can’t educate an unhealthy child, and you can’t keep an uneducated child healthy.’”
In order to help homeless children overcome the difficult social, emotional, and developmental challenges they face, Odessa Brown’s nurse practitioners administer immunizations on-site, conduct health exams, and screen all children for developmental concerns. These screenings allow the nurses to identify children who are in need of assessments for speech and other developmental delays.
Because of this support, hundreds of children finally have the opportunity to have their physical needs met, allowing them to focus more easily on building the core social and emotional skills they need to prepare for kindergarten. (A recent example of this is five-year-old LaDamion, a recent Early Learning Center student who entered Wellspring with an undiagnosed hearing disability, and left with a successful ear surgery, extensive vocabulary, and renewed vigor for learning!).
When asked why he continues to support Wellspring, Dr. Danielson emphasized:
“I see the incredible investment Wellspring makes every day in our future. I am a believer in the model they utilize and the philosophy that drives their work. We are all part of an interlaced community. That interlacing fabric is there to protect and nurture our most valued resource: our children. By serving people in deep, meaningful ways and by forging the enduring relationships between community organizations that create that rich and resilient interwoven fabric of support, we are all vested partners in helping to make better futures.”
It is this passion and dedication to our community that has allowed Wellspring’s partnership with Dr. Danielson and Odessa Brown to continue for so many years, and we are honored to select them as our 2014 Community Partner of the Year! Thank you for all that you do to help the children and families we serve in our ELC have access to the care they need to triumph over trauma, and achieve positive, permanent change in their lives.