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ChristianaCare using new mobile health services vans to expand community care


ChristianaCare is using two mobile vans to help bring healthcare services into communities statewide.

A $1 million grant from Barclays Bank’s COVID-19 Community Aid Package helped ChristianaCare design the two mobile vans that will act as medical offices on wheels.

“We’ve had a road map, really for a long time, creating ways to serve patients where they are rather than have patients come to us," said Dr. Sarah Schenck - the medical director of Virtualist Medicine at ChristianaCare’s Center for Virtual Health. "We call it the patient pilgrimage, where patients always have to come to one of our sites to receive care. And we really want to flip that, so that we go to the patients.”

Dr. Schenck says the vans work statewide, focusing on neighborhoods that traditionally have a hard time accessing healthcare.

“Really we’re trying to serve patients where they are and particularly patients who have a hard time coming to us and accessing care for whatever reason - be it transportation or just lack of awareness of where these services are," she said. "We are coming right to the patients - where they are.”

Dr. Schenck says that includes vulnerable and underserved communities where residents may not have seen primary care physicians for the past two years due to the pandemic.

The vans are equipped with exam rooms and can provide a wide range of medical services, including vaccinations, OB-GYN services, behavioral and mental health appointments, diabetic retinopathy screenings and sports physicals.

Schenck says over the next three years ChristianaCare hopes to serve 30,000 patients with the vans. And they would like to administer an estimated 15,000 vaccinations.

Schedules for the vans are available on ChristianaCare’s website.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.