Trenton, NJ. – Many obstacles may stand in the way of residents getting to their onsite provider for their healthcare needs. Henry J. Austin Health Center brings patient care directly to the community with its Mobile Health Unit (MHU). Proudly presenting the phrase “Wheels to Wellness”, the MHU’s goal is comprehensive care for patients. It offers primary care, behavioral health, dental for families, and family practice services. According to Mobile Health Map, a collaborative research community, only a little more than 2,000 other mobile clinics now are active in the country, primarily serving the uninsured and the publicly insured in low-income communities.
A Mobile Health Unit team member explains, “We can give COVID-19 vaccinations, preventative screenings, annual physicals for school children, dental screenings, and also share community resources and schedule patients for brick-and-mortar site services. They may come in sick or just come in with questions.
The MHU has a School-Based Service Site (SBSS) grant that allows visits to selected schools in the Trenton area: PJ Hill Elementary, Gregory Elementary, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, and Mott elementary. The grant will run until August 31, 2022. Licensed providers reported excellent visits with various young students and their parents.
According to the School-Based Health Alliance, school-based health care is a powerful tool for achieving health equity among children and adolescents who unjustly experience disparities in outcomes simply because of their race, ethnicity, or family income. It’s also an idea gaining currency across the country: place critically needed services like medical, behavioral, dental, and vision care directly in schools so that all young people, no matter their zip code, have equal opportunity to learn and grow. HJAHC’s MHU team is prepared to treat children with chronic absenteeism, obesity prevention, and immunizations, but most importantly foster an atmosphere of love and trust.
Our MHU team is very optimistic about the future of the Mobile Health Unit. One team member adds, “We are looking to expand services to include full comprehensive services like a clinical pharmacy, AIM (Asthma Management), etc. There is demand for a second unit, possibly a separate dental unit as well and we are preparing to kick off of additional school-based service.”