Mobile Clinics help to build trust and help to reduce barriers so that under-represented, low-income, and uninsured groups can gain access to much needed health care services within their own communities.
In Fall 2019, Wake Forest Baptist Health will begin providing free health care to uninsured individuals, via a mobile health clinic. The mobile health program is comprised of two partnering programs, including the Community Health Alliance (CHA), a service in Family Medicine of Wake Forest Baptist Health, and the School Based Health Alliance (SHA) of Forsyth County. CHA’s overarching goals are to use a community-informed mobile health program to decrease rates of uncontrolled chronic disease, increase access to preventive care services including immunizations, provide nutrition and food access support, provide care coordination, increase access to affordable medications, provide behavioral health support, and decrease emergency room use for primary care conditions in high needs communities. CHA’s program will provide medical, nursing, preventive, behavioral health, and nutrition services to medically underserved and uninsured children and adults in Forsyth County. The mobile unit will travel to homeless shelters, churches, and easily accessible community locations to help people experiencing barriers such as insurance, transportation, and other social economic factors.
The Community Health Alliance Program provides:
- Acute disease management (colds, sore throat, flu)
- Chronic disease management (hypertension, diabetes, asthma, COPD)
- No cost lab services for common primary care labs
- Prescriptions and Pharmacist support for medication access
- Physical assessments, including sports physicals and wellness exams
- Well-child and sick child visits
- Sexually transmitted infection screenings and treatment
- Behavioral health and care coordination
- Health education, specifically around nutrition, prevention, and chronic disease management
- Referrals to primary and specialty care as appropriate
- Women’s Health—Referrals for Pap smears and Mammograms at low or no cost
- Cardiovascular disease outreach screening and treatment
- Referrals to dental clinics
- Community Health Fairs
- Food Prescriptions with FaithHealth Connector support for food access
- Eye and hearing screenings and exams
The Community Health Alliance utilizes the electronic health record and plans to utilize broadband telecommunications linkage to provide clinical, educational, and specialty services to patients via telemedicine technologies. For example, we plan to utilize telecommunications for real time consults to high volume specialists, such as dermatologist and/or diabetes specialists while the patient is being seen at the mobile clinic. We are hoping to acquire the needed HIPPA compliant technologies, such as iPads, to make this possible for our patients. Using electronic health records, the program currently is capable of rapidly transferring patient records and medical images – such as x-rays, CT and MRI scans, and more to other providers or hospital systems, which contributes to improved coordination of patient care.
We have also partnered with several local pharmacists and Wake Forest Baptist pharmacy residents to help provide access to needed prescription medications at discounted rates. In collaboration with the NC MedAssist Mobile Free Pharmacy Program we can provide free over the counter medications to our patients in need at the time of appointment as appropriate. FaithHealth connectors and staff will connect with faith and social networks within communities who will help serve our patients by navigate the community for healthcare access, social, and spiritual related needs. We are also collaborating with Forsyth County Health Department nutrition coaches to help our patients with strategies for healthy eating and cooking. Our program would like to also provide food prescriptions for our patients and are pursuing funding to develop a program that will provide healthy food bags to patients seen by our program.
We also work with Health Care Access to coordinate care for patients who need referrals to specialists, primary care providers, and other services such as colonoscopies or surgeries as appropriate. Health Care Access is a longstanding nonprofit in Winston-Salem who works with providers and hospital systems to volunteer their time to care for uninsured people in the community, and helps uninsured patients gain access to appropriate care at low cost.
Love Out Loud partners with local community organizations to help them collaborate and is providing the volunteer platform for our volunteers to sign up to help at the mobile clinic. Volunteer needs and opportunities will be posted on this platform.
Dental care is very difficult for many uninsured patients to gain access to, and there are very limited referral routes for the dental care of uninsured. Our program has partnered with the DEAC clinic to apply for a dental grant that will cover the initial screening and dental care for 100 patients between our two programs in collaboration with United Health Center’s dental clinic on Peter’s Creek Parkway.
Components of Community Health Alliance Outreach
- Our goal is to connect 100% of patients who are eligible for health insurance to a navigator to help them sign up for insurance through collaboration with Health Care Access
- For patients who are not eligible for health insurance, our program will be a place where they can return for care ongoing if they choose, but we will also work with them to help find more permanent primary care access