Before the Florida legislative session ended this year, Memorial Healthcare System (MHS) was awarded a $500K appropriation for the purchase of a mobile medical unit with two patient rooms. This new addition will expand Memorial’s current mobile health program to four active units, allowing more residents to seek and access care in their community. The mobile health unit will employ bilingual and culturally-diverse clinical and outreach personnel to provide access to care.
“On behalf of everyone at Memorial Healthcare System, I want to thank Governor Rick Scott and the Florida legislature, in particular, project sponsors Senator Oscar Braynon (D-36) and Representative Manny Diaz, Jr. (R-103), for your support and for helping to improve the health and well-being of our community,” noted Aurelio Fernandez, President and CEO, Memorial Healthcare System.
Managed by an on-site physician, the Adult Mobile Health Center will travel into the heart of underserved neighborhoods to provide primary care, immunizations, and health screenings. The screenings will assist in the early detection of cancer and other chronic diseases. The mobile unit will also provide immediate treatment of patients as needed to avoid emergency room visits.
“Since 2012, Memorial Healthcare System has experienced a geographic shift in the number of uncompensated care cases coming from the western portion of its service area,” Fernandez said. “Based on 2014 data related to these western zip codes, Memorial served 15,000 uninsured persons, which resulted in nearly $83 million in uncompensated care costs. This includes inpatient hospitalizations and emergency department visits that may have been avoided if these patients had access to a primary care provider where they could obtain ongoing coordinated care in an outpatient setting.”
To support the Adult Mobile Health Center, a three-member Health Intervention with Targeted Services (HITS) Team will work closely with community and faith-based agencies within targeted underserved neighborhoods to provide marketing, outreach, education, and eligibility screening for local, state, and federal programs. The HITS Team will explain the importance of obtaining services on the mobile unit and in establishing a medical home at one of the clinics operated by Memorial Healthcare System or in the local community.
The new Mobile Health Center will feature:
- ADA-approved wheelchair lift
- Exterior awning
- Customized medical equipment
- Patient education area
- Computer equipment, printers, and telecommunications equipment, linked to Memorial’s electronic medical record system
The community benefit of having this new Adult Mobile Health Center is estimated based on the impact it will have in screenings, education and access to care, including:
- 2,000 patient visits for an initial health screening
- 12 health education lectures per year to reach 400 persons in conjunction with community-based and faith-based partner agencies
- 75% of uninsured and underinsured persons will receive an eligibility appointment referral for primary care services at MHS clinics
- 50% of eligible persons will enroll in MHS clinics
“The addition of this mobile unit is one of the Memorial’s highest priorities in our mission to improve the health of the local population,” Fernandez said.
Memorial Healthcare System is one of the largest public healthcare systems in the country and is a national leader in quality care and patient satisfaction. Its facilities include Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar, Memorial Hospital Pembroke and Memorial Manor nursing home. The system received the following recognition: Modern Healthcare magazine’s “Best Place to Work in Healthcare,” Forbes’ America’s Best Employers; Florida Trend’s “Florida’s Best Companies to Work For,” and Becker’s Hospital Review’s “150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare.”
Kerting Baldwin, 954-265-3455
Director, Corporate Communications