Pediatric Mobile Health Unit
Not every child who needs medical care makes it in to St. Bernard. That’s why St. Bernard reaches out to them. Our Pediatric Mobile Health Unit travels to Englewood-area schools, day care centers and health fairs to provide children with the care they need where they can access it.
Many low-income families on the South Side of Chicago lack access to affordable health care. As a result, children in these households go without routine preventive care. This also means these children aren’t receiving the necessary immunizations and physical examinations for school. To fight this issue, St. Bernard Hospital brings free services directly to children with its Pediatric Mobile Health Unit. Since 2003, the Unit has operated with the goals of improving access to high-quality preventive care for medically needy children throughout Englewood, West Englewood and surrounding communities on the South Side of Chicago; providing health and wellness education for children and families; and linking patients with specialized health and social support services.
The Pediatric Mobile Health Unit is a 40-foot clinic on wheels that has a waiting room, intake area, and examination rooms. Children receive health education as they wait for appointments through videos and literature. The staff meets with each child to discuss their health and ways to stay healthy. The Mobile Unit partners with Chicago Public Schools, Head Start programs and preschools to provide immunizations, physical exams, lead testing for children less than 6 years of age, and health education.
Children are briefly excused from class to receive care and must have a parent’s or guardian’s approval. If we identify a medical issue we provide information for the parents and refer them to the appropriate physician or service organization.
Since its beginning in 2003 the program has moved Englewood from being a community with one of the lowest compliance rates for childhood immunization in the country to having over 90% compliance for over 80% of the facilities that the program services.
ADULT MOBILE HEALTH UNIT
After 13 successful years of the Pediatric Mobile Health Unit program the Hospital turned its focus to the adult population. The Community Health Needs Assessment of 2012 and 2015 both suggested that access to care were top needs in the Englewood community. So to build on the commitment of the Ambulatory Care Center the Hospital took it a step further by launching the Adult Mobile Health Unit (AMHU). The goal of the AMHU is to eliminate barriers to and increases access to screening, primary care and preventative services for adult residents of the hospital's service area.
The AMHU travels to various sites, such as churches, food pantries, health fairs, and senior centers providing health screening, education and actives focused on Diabetes, Hypertension, PSA, and Immunizations. As the AMHU's medical team identifies the need for follow up care they will also assist patients with scheduling follow-up appointments with primary care physicians and specialists at St. Bernard Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center.
The AMHU is another way that St. Bernard Hospital is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of the community and the people that we serve.