Mobile Healthcare Unit Ready and Able to Serve – Harvey County Now
By Adam Strunk
Trust, cost, transportation, and schedules can all impede access to health care in Harvey County.
That’s according to Sara Kelly, coordinator of the Ministries of Health Mobile Clinic.
The clinic – a tricked-out Winnebago – functions as a 38-foot health clinic on wheels set up to make health care as simple and easy to get as possible.
“We don’t want barriers to be the reason you don’t show up for health care,” she said.
They led the unit around the community at different locations this year. Since April, work has intensified to serve as many people as possible and to raise community awareness of the service.
“You can come in live, in real time,” Kelly said, explaining that many medical offices and doctors have long waits right now.
On Thursday, June 30, for example, they planned to host a community outreach event with Peace Connections and New Creation Preschool in the morning. They scheduled a health clinic at Notre-Dame de Guadelupe Church to follow up in the afternoon.
Kelly said the outreach events have helped more community members learn about the services provided by the clinic and build relationships with the clinic. She said health ministries have also posted information about the clinic online and distributed flyers in high-traffic areas to help those without internet access.
Providing services in different locations helps make health care more convenient and expands access for those who might not be able to drive to the doctor or wait weeks for an appointment.
“Health care is overwhelmed,” she said, referring to the long waits sometimes needed to establish care with a doctor.
She said the mobile unit can treat “pretty much anything below an emergency room visit”.
She said it could be something like getting a prescription refilled or treating a common illness like a cold or the flu.
The clinic can also provide preventive care and access to a health care provider. He can provide physical, medical and dental screenings, treat minor injuries, help manage chronic illnesses, take blood for lab tests and provide chronic illness management services.
Services are available to anyone who comes to the clinic. Insurance is accepted but payment based on income is also available.
The mobile unit is an initiative of the Ministries of Health Clinic.
The clinic is the largest primary care provider in Harvey County as well as a federally licensed health care center.
It charges health care on a sliding scale based on income and provides other services such as behavioral health care, pharmacy, and dental care.
About $375,000 in Federal American Recovery Plan Act money helped fund the mobile clinic.
It has two full examination rooms, a restroom with toilet and sink, a waiting room and a wheelchair lift.
It also has a laboratory, refrigerator, office and blood collection area and is powered by a Ford V-10 engine, as well as a commercial diesel generator.
Currently, it is used to provide easier and more affordable access to medical care for community members throughout the county.
It has been deployed in the past for vaccination clinics and can be deployed for other uses such as community emergency assistance.
It has running water and backup electricity. With fully stocked examination rooms, the clinic could be used to provide emergency care, as well as examinations following a natural disaster.
For more information about the clinic or to find out its schedule, visit www.hmcks.org/mobile