Mobile health vehicles from Cone Health for the health care of underserved populations

Mobile health vehicles from Cone Health for the health care of underserved populations

Points Highlighted:

  • Cone Health runs more than 150 hospitals and clinics across the Piedmont Triad area including Alamance Regional Medical Center. The mobile health program currently consists of four vehicles including a mobile health unit, screening unit, cancer screening unit and transportation vehicle. The goal is to eventually obtain three to four mobile units, said Dr. Olu Jegede, area medical director for Cone Health Medical Group, at the program’s launch in High Point. 

  • The medical provider seeks to eliminate that barrier by bringing medical professionals into the community through a new mobile health initiative. 

The general mobile healthcare bus can provide any medicine people would normally receive from a primary care provider. It contains two examination areas, a waiting area, bathroom and a separate HIPAA-compliant room that people can use to speak privately with a doctor or social worker or call a specialist for a telehealth visit. 

Both buses are wheelchair accessible. 

The cancer screening bus contains the same cancer screening equipment that would be utilized at a hospital or clinic. In Greensboro, Cone Health doctors diagnose between 80 and 100 new breast cancer cases each month, and the screenings at the mobile unit seek to diagnose some of those cases at an earlier stage, which would potentially give that patient a better outcome. 

Patients don’t need to make an appointment to be seen at one of the mobile health facilities, and healthcare through this program is available to those ages 6 and older. Once patients are seen at the mobile clinic, they are encouraged to follow-up at a brick-and-mortar location. 

The mobile health program will treat insured and uninsured patients, and financial advisors are available to those unable to afford medical care. 

Dr. Martin Portillo, president and chief medical officer of Cone Health Medical Group, said the goal is to make medicine more accessible. 

“This program allows Cone Health to offer more care than ever to members of our community in vulnerable populations, and because it lets our team go directly into our local neighborhoods, it also helps to demonstrate the commitment Cone Health has made to access to care,” Portillo said. “We’re always working to make health care available to as many people as possible, and our Mobile Health Program is an impressive step towards that.” The program is initially rolling out in Guilford County, but people in Alamance County can request a bus on Cone Health’s website if planning an event, such as a health fair. Buses will become more available in Alamance County in the future, although Patrick Wright, spokesperson for Cone Health, said it’s unclear when that will be. 

The buses are available at places such as shopping centers, churches, health fairs and individual businesses. A list of locations where the buses will be available is located on Cone Health’s website.  Want to read more about what’s happening in Alamance County? Subscribe to the Times-News, and support local journalism. 

Breaking news reporter Rachel Berry can be reached at rberry@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @racheldberry. 

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