Health care on wheels: Oak Orchard brings mobile clinic to region | Editorials

Accessing good health care services in rural communities presents challenges to many people.

Transportation is a huge issue in rural areas, and with no or limited public transportation available, it is difficult for patients to make medical appointments that can treat ailments, but that also provide get education and knowledge necessary to live a health life.

Officials at Oak Orchard Health have found a way to eliminate one of those significant obstacles. Oak Orchard Health unveiled a new mobile clinic on April 26 that will be used to bring primary and preventive treatments to different communities in Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Monroe and Steuben counties. By taking mobile health care, more individuals will be able to make find care at more convenient times and locations.

The clinic, which includes 189 square feet of space, intends to resolve that barrier by coming to patients.

Oak Orchard Health plans to partner with different organizations in the communities they serve, and then provide introductory services, screening services, and well care visits. From there, patients can get tied into Oak Orchard Health to provide ongoing care.

The Mobile Medical Unit is able to do vision screenings, EKG readings, and point-of-care testing. There is an exam room in the Mobile Medical Unit, as well as a bathroom, a sink, a lab, a refrigerator for transporting vaccines, a waiting area and a work area for staff.

“The need in the community is getting out to where people are that would not otherwise walk into our health center or call our health center, and say, ‘Hey, I need to be seen,'” Bridge said.

The clinic was purchased through a grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation, a Buffalo-based organization that seeks among its focus areas to promote health in underserved communities.

The Mobile Medical Unit is a wonderful idea that will make receiving medical care easier on patients. We commend representatives of Oak Orchard Health for investing their time in financial resources into achieving their goal.

The mobile clinic, said Bridge, is something Oak Orchard has wanted to do and “the Oishei Foundation, through the grant, made this possible.”

“We are so blessed, so fortunate, to have the Oishei Foundation select us to receive that grant to make this a reality.”

Oak Orchard Health is in the process of establishing what the mobile unit’s schedule will be. The plan, said Bridge, is to collaborate with different organizations to bring the clinic to specific locations.

Based in Brockport, Oak Orchard Health has brick-and-mortar clinics in the towns of Alexander, Batavia, and Corfu in Genesee County; Albion and Lyndonville in Orleans County, Warsaw in Wyoming County, Brockport in Monroe County, and Hornell in Steuben County.

The mobile clinic will help fill in gaps where they exist. The clinic promises to be a great way to deliver important health care services and bring the care directly to the communities that need it.

Other health care facilities are encouraged to replicate this idea where possible.

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