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Mobile Health Unit To Serve Needy Seminole County

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From the Orlando Sentinel -

 

Basic health care is not accessible to many people living in impoverished areas of Seminole County, but that will change soon. The Seminole County Health Department will launch a mobile health unit staffed with professionals in the coming weeks that will visit these residents to offer family planning services, disease screenings, immunizations, physicals and more.

 

The unit will serve the homeless, the uninsured and underinsured. County health officials provided few details this week, saying that plans are still being worked out, including when the unit — similar to a blood mobile — would begin operating. Even so, the health unit will be the only such mobile health program operated by a county health department in the Central Florida region, officials said.

 

Orange County Health Department has a mobile dental unit. "By putting the mobile health unit into areas of Seminole County that are impoverished is a way to increase the community's ability to get basic health care," said Tiffani McDaniel, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

 

"This is a good thing for Seminole County residents." About 20 percent, or nearly 75,000, of Seminole County's 372,041 residents under the age of 65 are uninsured, according to a 2015 report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The mobile health unit will be an effort toward early detection of major diseases for many of those who lack the income or resources to visit medical facilities when a problem arises.

 

That includes screenings for body mass index, blood pressure and diabetes. It also will offer doctor referrals and information about smoking cessation programs. "Chronic disease prevention is our main initiative," McDaniel said. The mobile health unit's first three stops will be at sites in Altamonte Springs, Casselberry and Sanford, according to preliminary plans. It also will stop in areas with homeless populations, county health officials said. "We're still in the process of mapping out areas," McDaniel said. Patients will be able to make appointments or walk to the mobile health unit.

 

It will be staffed by an advanced registered nurse practitioner and a health support worker. The annual operating cost for the unit is about $330,000. That includes a $150,000 grant from Seminole County, approved by county commissioners on Tuesday...MORE HERE.

 

 

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