Mobile Clinic Rolling
A mobile health clinic rolled inside the Washington County Convention Center here this spring and the reception was overwhelming.
“The business people and manufacturers who attended the annual economic development meeting just loved it,” said Stephanie Patton with the Delta Health Alliance (DHA), which oversees the Leland Medical Clinic and its mobile clinic. “They walked through it, explored it and began asking questions about how they could use it. The mobile clinic was a hit.”
Hitting the road for the first time, the 42-foot-long mobile health clinic, part of a growing slate of services and offerings by the Leland Medical Clinic, is already making a difference in the Mississippi Delta, a region hindered by a lack of transportation and financial resources as they pertain to healthcare.
Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and owned and operated by the Leland Medical Clinic, the RV-styled, $300,000 clinic will officially be placed into service on May 3 at the DHA offices in Stoneville, where DHA employees will have the opportunity to be given wellness checks. In the future, those in the Delta wishing to take advantage of the mobile clinic can simply call the Leland Medical Clinic to schedule times.
The mobile clinic has three missions to ensure its near constant use in the Delta:
- To offer healthcare services to employers and manufacturers such as wellness checks for their employees.
- To travel into rural communities that lack healthcare services and access to medical clinics.
- To make the mobile clinic’s services available to companies for the use of their customers. For example, a bank may solicit the mobile clinic to give flu shots to its customers.
The mobile clinic will also be available for rent by larger medical centers and hospitals in the Delta.
“Our goal is to have the mobile clinic on the road and in use all the time,” said Patton. “It’s such a valuable resource that we want to ensure it’s utilized to its greatest potential.”
Outfitted with the same equipment that one would find in any brick and mortar clinic, the mobile version will be staffed by a nurse practitioner, a nurse and a driver; and will serve residents within an approximate 30-minute driving radius of Leland.
The traveling clinic will help alleviate two of the biggest reasons that those residents aren’t getting the care they need: lack of transportation arising from poverty, and the loss of healthcare services in the Delta such as the recent closing of both the Leland and Hollandale branches of the Mississippi State Department of Health.
In addition, businesses and manufacturers will now have a more convenient means to serve the healthcare needs of their employees.
With two examination rooms, a reception room and a waiting area, the clinic will service primary care patients and those needing different types of therapy such as occupational and behavioral at the same time. The clinic will also offer tele-health services, linking patients to physicians in other locations.
The mobile clinic is a perfect complement to Leland Medical Clinic’s recently established medical therapy program. Supported by DHA, the medical therapy program offers infants through high schoolers a variety of services, including occupational, physical, speech and behavioral therapy, as well as early intervention screening services.
DHA officials estimate that the mobile clinic, which is handicapped accessible, will be able to handle as many as 30 patients on a given day and will establish and publicize specific dates and times for visiting specific sites.
“We’re very excited about what we’ll be able to offer through the mobile clinic,” said Patton. “It opens up new avenues for quality healthcare and, ultimately, helps build stronger, healthier communities.”