Le Bonheur expands reach with new mobile unit
More than 4,000 children without a primary care provider will have access to a new mobile unit Le Bonheur is sending throughout Memphis and north Mississippi. The unit was built with a $490,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Primary Health Care, and will begin serving schools in Memphis and Tunica County, Miss., this spring.
The unit will be staffed by a nurse practitioner, two nurses and a data entry clerk and will offer well child checkups, screenings, sick visits, administration of physician-prescribed medications and referrals to primary and specialty care providers.
“Many children don’t visit their primary care provider frequently enough,” said Cynthia Cross, MD, medical director of Le Bonheur’s mobile health services and a pediatric hospitalist. “While there are many barriers to obtaining ongoing care, transportation can be particularly difficult. Our new mobile unit allows us to bring care to children. The schools are great with helping us identify children who need our services.”
Le Bonheur’s Community Health and Well-Being division has provided school-based health education and primary care in a six-county area around Memphis since 1995. The hospital’s first mobile unit, Le Bonheur on the Move, provides mobile health services for five counties in rural West Tennessee.
Since 2012, the mobile health program has provided care during 2,700 visits and connected more than 300 children to a primary care provider. The mobile unit program receives funding from the Children’s Health Fund.