The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for more accessible healthcare, especially solutions that address health inequity and reach underserved communities. To more easily meet this need, a Wilmington, DE, healthcare organization has rolled out mobile health services vans to bring care where people need it most throughout the state.
ChristianaCare’s two new mobile health services vans will be traveling to community events this summer to provide a variety of medical services including vaccinations, diabetic retinopathy screenings, primary care services and behavioral health appointments. Patients will experience hybrid care, both on wheels and via video. In addition to same-day medical services provided on the vans, patients will be able to connect with a care team via a virtual visit. Patients may also be referred to further in-person or virtual services following the appointment on the van.
Barclays is supporting the vans via a $1 million investment as part of its COVID-19 Community Aid Package.
Janice Nevin, M.D., president and CEO of ChristianaCare, said in a statement the organization has learned a lot about regional healthcare issues through the pandemic, including the urgent need to embed equity into everything that it does.
“Over the past two years, we’ve seen that people of color are less likely to be vaccinated and more likely to die from COVID-19,” Nevin said. “The reasons for these inequities are complex, but as healthcare professionals, we know how to approach complex problems and develop solutions. These vans are a part of that work. We know that transportation is one of the most common reasons that people aren’t able to access care. These specially equipped vehicles will allow us to bring care to them.”
ChristianaCare expects to have 30,000 patient interactions through the vans over the first three years. Of those visits, 15,000 are expected to be for COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Getting care on a mobile health services van is not a one-time event, but rather a chance to build a relationship that changes the course of an individual’s health and wellness,” Sarah Schenck, M.D., medical director of Virtualistic Medicine at ChristianaCare’s Center for Virtual Health, said in a statement.
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