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Mobile Health Unit To Serve Hilltop-Area Adults At YMCA

OhioHealth has started delivering primary care services to Hilltop-area residents through a mobile medical clinic. 

Mike Foley reports.

For more than two decades, OhioHealth’s Wellness on Wheels vehicle has helped provide prenatal care. Now it’s expanding to offer primary care services for adults in the Hilltop, which has been identified as an area in demand for healthcare due to a lack of physicians and an overuse of emergency departments. Doug Knutson - OhioHealth’s vice president of academic affairs - says the 54-foot mobile unit will be stationed at the Hilltop YMCA three days a week.

“It’s going to be available for on-site health screenings, chronic disease management, physical exams and immunizations for people in our community who need it the most. Our plan is to bring care to the people that need it in a place where they’re more likely to access it. So we have board-certified family physicians from OhioHealth and the residents from our training program who are going to be delivering the care along with nurses, a community health care worker and others.”

Knutson says the mobile unit has already made a difference in the first week of use.

“So the first patient we saw was somebody who lost his insurance, out-of-control diabetes who didn’t have anywhere to go. He brought his whole family here for his health visit and came here and actually received his care and now has a medical home. On the second day we were here, we had a patient seen by our folks who lives right up the street and had been frequenting the ER because she couldn’t find a primary care doctor that she really trusted. So she came in and refused treatment and just wanted to see what was going on. When she left, she actually accepted treatment and now she has a primary care medical home so she doesn’t need to access the ED for her primary care needs. So it’s already been really successful in its first week of being here.”

A $1 million grant from Huntington Bank helped fund this pilot program. The mobile medical clinic will be at the Hilltop’s YMCA on Valleyview Drive Mondays, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.   

Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. Foley has worked in various roles, from producing news and feature stories to engineering Live From Studio A sessions. A series of music features Foley started in 2018 called Music Journeys has grown into a podcast and radio show. He also assists in developing other programs in WCBE's Podcast Experience. Foley hosts The Morning Mix, a weekday music show featuring emerging and established musicians, our Columbus-area and Ohio-based talent, and additional artists that inspire him.
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