LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – The Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC) is excited to announce that its new, state-of-the-art Mobile Health Unit (MHU) has arrived and finally hit the road, helping the agency to fulfill its goal of providing screenings in each of Arkansas’s 75 counties.
The 38-foot mobile clinic is equipped with two screening rooms that will be used to assess patients’ blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, A1C, BMI, oral health and HIV results. Thanks to an established partnership with Arkansas Foodbanks statewide, the unit will stop at the Foodbank’s various locations to render health services.
In addition, the unit will also travel to schools, churches, and other locations as requested and confirmed.
Locations will typically be determined three months in advance, but if community members or organizations would like to schedule the unit, they can complete the scheduling form at this link.
“We are excited about our new MHU and looking forward to driving into communities of need to provide preventive screening services,” said ShaRhonda Love, director of the AMHC. “The Commission believes this will provide us an opportunity to meet our goal of being a catalyst in bridging the gap in the health status of the minority population and that of the majority population in Arkansas.”
The MHU will be staffed with the AMHC’s health specialist and MHU coordinator, Beatriz Mondragon, along with a driver, full-time nurse and nursing volunteers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. With two screening rooms available, approximately two to three patients can be seen at one time. The sum of the screenings can take up to 45 minutes, with results being available the same day.
Mondragon will provide patients who receive abnormal test results with a list of resources and low-income based clinics to visit and will follow up shortly after to determine whether they have reached out to their primary care physicians. For those who have not prior to the follow-up call, Mondragon will encourage them to do so, work to identify any barriers that could be hindering them from doing so and help them to overcome those obstacles.
“I am so excited to be a part of this amazing and free opportunity for the communities in our natural state,” Mondragon said. “I am ready to get to work and help improve health and wellness in the state of Arkansas.”
The idea of the MHU started as the brainchild of Director Love while trying to address how the agency could provide screenings in each of Arkansas’s 75 counties. In her quest to find a solution, Love thought, “What better way to get services to those we haven’t been able to reach than to literally drive into their communities?” From there, Love began a support campaign of Governor Asa Hutchinson, the General Assembly and agency partners. Thanks to her foresight, the MHU is now a reality.
To find out where the MHU is headed next, visit arminorityhealth.com/initiatives/mobile-health-unit.
The Arkansas Minority Health Commission works to assure that all minority Arkansans have equitable access to preventive health care and seeks ways to promote health and prevent diseases and conditions that are prevalent among minority populations.