Providing Healthcare Where It Simply Doesn't Exist: For The Homeless
By Sarah Ford on January 27, 2014
Source: NBC News
Over several days in January, NBC Nightly News followed the Montefiore Mobile Health Clinic as it made routine stops in the streets of New York City, providing healthcare where it simply doesn't exist: for the homeless.
"We know that homeless youth are not going to come to a hospital or health center unless it’s an emergency," Dr. Alan Shapiro said. "So we bring the mobile clinic to them."
The mobile clinic – known as the "big blue bus" in some communities – travels throughout New York City’s boroughs, complete with nurses, a physician and fully equipped examination rooms. Parents are able to get check-ups for their kids, and consult the doctors when they have questions or concerns – all for free.
Shapiro has been working on the mobile clinics for more than 20 years.
"We bring [the mobile clinics] to a drop-in center where they’re getting food, where they can rest, where they can get clothing. It makes it a lot easier for them to access care," he said.
The mobile health care units first hit the road in 1987 as an initiative started by the Children’s Health Fund.