Mobile clinics find great health care need in under served communities
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Getting access to health care can be a hurdle for those in underserved communities. One local health care facility so far this year made nearly 80 trips to low-income and rural communities reaching out to those who may have limited access to medical care.
“I want to be here for my grandkids and I want to stay safe and make sure my blood pressure is in check, any other health issue,” said Jerry Williams while waiting for a health screening.
She brought her grandsons to the G.A. Carmichael Family Health Center screening to get COVID vaccinations. The Flora resident takes medication for hypertension and wanted to get it checked.
The 57-year-old is one of the dozens taking advantage of the free screenings offered to the community during the event on Medgar Evers Boulevard.
“I think it’s great. Some people don’t have transportation,” said Williams. “Some people don’t have means and ways getting around and when you come closer to the community to them it’s easier for the community to get access for health conditions.”
“We’re finding that they’re still a number of people who are not vaccinated with their first or second dose,” said Family Nurse Practitioner Yvette McLaurin.
The mobile clinic has made nearly 80 community visits this year seeing 50 to 100 patients, many of who do not see doctors regularly. Medical personnel on-site at each stop find the greatest lack of health care in low-income and rural areas, where high blood pressure and diabetes are prevalent.
“Sometimes they don’t have symptoms until they have that stroke or until they have that heart attack,” said McLaurin. “We are able to talk to you about your diet and exercise. We’re able to schedule an appointment for you to come into the office so that we can treat you.”
Chief Program Officer Joshua Knox said the health care facility purchased two mobile medical vans enabling them to set up at churches, schools, apartment complexes, parks, and other locations. A family practitioner, RN or physician is on-site at each mobile visit.
“That’s one of the things that our CEO Dr. James Coleman is adamant about, making sure that we go out to the communities to provide services in areas that otherwise would not have services,” said Knox.
The federally funded health care provider also assists with supplying medication at a lower cost or free to those who can not afford it.
To learn more or schedule a G.A. Carmichael Family Health Center mobile clinic visit call 601-859-5213 or their website www.gacfhc.org.
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