Mobile unit provides care to people in need | New

ANDERSON – Earlier this year, the Madison County Health Department set up its mHealth unit.

Since its launch, the mobile unit has been used to deliver COVID-19 vaccines throughout the region.

“We go to Elwood once a week in the mobile unit because it’s a small town…” said Tiffany Denton, public health nurse and ministry outreach coordinator. “Since we’ve been going there once a week for several months, we’ve probably donated 80 to 100 just at this place. “

The mobile unit constantly collects feedback on how and where to improve and implements them immediately.

“Every time we come up with an idea, they take it and execute with it. They welcome the change, ”said Susie Ditsworth, registered nurse and doctoral candidate in nursing practice at Indiana University.

Since its inception, the mobile unit has added diabetes and cholesterol screening, as well as blood pressure checks, based on community feedback. The mobile unit also offers screening for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and hepatitis C, as well as wound care.

Starting next fall, Denton said he hoped to be able to offer physicals and vaccines to children.

According to County Health Rankings, Madison County is one of the least healthy counties in Indiana.

The mobile unit allows those who could not normally be seen in a doctor’s office to get the care they need.

“We don’t demand as much as a traditional clinic,” Ditsworth said. “Maybe they don’t have a phone to call to make an appointment. Maybe they don’t have ID.

To be seen at the mobile unit, people do not need an appointment or ID, which has helped the homeless and immigrant community a lot.

“Some studies have said that homeless populations, LGBTQ people, drug addicts, are already filtering through the health care system and have encountered a lot of mistrust of the health care professions,” Ditsworth said. “The mobile unit, they adapt to it much better. “

By removing this barrier, the mobile unit was able to immunize people within the homeless community and provide them with basic health care, as it has a program to help refer these people to service providers. health care.

“We won’t slow down in the winter,” Denton said. “We are not even close to slowing down, I always add more things. We can bring you public health. Just tell me where I need to go.

To request the mobile unit in your community, call the department at 765-641-9523 and speak to Denton or email the department.

To follow Kylee mullikin on Twitter @kyleemullikinhb or call 765-640-4250.

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