Cape Clinicians Get Rolling
VNA of Cape Cod uses their Mobile Health Link Van to
encourage wellness in the community.
Since 2001, the VNA of Cape Cod has been driving the streets of Cape Cod in a 28-foot van, educating and screening predominately poor residents who aren’t likely to approach a traditional health care facility. The van travels throughout the fifteen Cape Cod communities served by theVNA’s Mobile Health Link (MHL) program.
With three VNA staff members on board, MHL is able to provide convenient and creative community health services for people who might otherwise not seek the health care they need. The team provides free health education, harm reduction counseling and preventative screening services, such as blood pressure, non-fasting blood sugar and cholesterol screenings. The van staff also provides information on health issues such as diet, exercise, smoking, substance abuse, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
In keeping with the VNA’s charitable mission, MHL provides its services and support free of charge. Although the team does not provide direct primary care, they do connect people with available services and programs, including referrals to primary care providers. Since many of these patients have dropped out of the health care system, one of the many MHL program goals is to get people back into the healthcare system.
The Mobile Health Link Van program costs about $212,000 per year to keep in operation. This includes the three full-time staff members, medical and education supplies, insurance, van maintenance and gas. Bridge Over Troubled Waters (a Boston-based non-profit organization) donated the van to the VNA of Cape Cod in 2001.
The program’s major source of funding is from charity. Supported by community donations and grants, the VNA of Cape Cod has also received support from Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts Foundation and the Kelly Foundation.
The Mobile Health Link Van team speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, which enables them to serve about 120 individuals a month at 13 regularly scheduled sites. They have helped approximately 4,000 people since the program began in 2001. To learn more about this unique program, please call the VNA of Cape Cod at 888-557-9994.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod has been serving the community in Massachusetts for over 80 years. Under the direction of Executive Director Judith Tarr the VNA of Cape Cod provides more than 370,000 annual home health care visits.
Every month, we will shine the spotlight on a member VNA, and tell you about an innovative program they run. Do you have a story you would like to see in the VNAA “Agency Spotlight”? If so send your suggestions to [email protected].