PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Monday, was the first day that “Molly” the mobile clinic visited homeless shelters in the Peoria-Area. This van turned clinic was provided by UnityPoint Methodist School of Nursing.
The mobile clinic will visit shelters like the Dream Center Peoria, Peoria Rescue Ministries, and Salvation Army multiple times a week.
Sharon Adams, CEO of Heartland Health Services said healthcare workers will asses and serve patients regardless of their ability to pay, adding there is a need for medical help in homeless shelters.
“…We were very concerned that people living in the shelters didn’t have access to medical care or if they were starting to exhibit symptoms…no one there to examine them and determine that, so we thought it would be a great idea to go to them,” Adams said.
All potential patients must be screened and evaluated before they can get an appointment with medical professionals in the mobile clinic.
Only patients with acute or chronic health conditions will be serviced. Healthcare professionals will not be providing wellness checks. There are test kits available in the clinic for strep throat and influenza.
Dr. Gregg Stoner, Chief Medical Officer of Heartland Health Services said some people fail to consider the homeless. He adds they do not receive satisfactory care for their health issues.
One of the things that we really want to do is, people that have chronic medical conditions that put them at increased risk of not surviving [the] COVID attack we want to control those and get those optimized so they are better suited to living through that event.Dr. Gregg Stoner, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Heartland Health Services
Dr. Stoner said this mobile clinic could remain in service after the COVID-19 outbreak is over, adding homeless people are chronically underserved and need help.
Monday, five patients from the Dream Center were seen and an additional five patients from Peoria Rescue Ministries were seen. Adams said as healthcare workers get faster more appointments will be available.