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Grant to bolster St. Francis' medical outreach van

Tom Byrne
Delaware Public Media

Saint Francis Healthcare receives a grant from New Castle County, allowing it to expand services through its St. Claire Medical Outreach Van.


The county is using its CARES Act funding to award the 895,000 grant - which it expects to help bring more care to vulnerable populations like the home-bound elderly, food insecure families, and the homeless.

The money will pay to design and build an entirely new mobile health van that expands primary care, social care and behavioral health services.

Lisa Schieffert is the Manager for Community Health and Wellbeing for St. Francis. She says the new van will be state of the art and technology driven.  

"So that we are able to provide specialty services via telehealth. This will also give us an opportunity to work with a farm to fresh provider in providing boxes of produce to food-insecure families as well as work closely with Catholic Charities on increasing access to behavioral health services for our St. Claire van patients."

Schieffert adds the pandemic has made mobile care more important.

"We have always had a mobile health van that's been in existence for 20 years, but I think what COVID-19 has done is it has placed a spotlight on the value of mobile health services and bringing them to the community because quite frankly the community is reluctant maybe to come into the hospital or to seek care when they really need it. So if we can bring it to them we feel that that is a big value added to our community."

The grant will also fund the expansion of other operations, and provide for the hiring of a Health Equity Coordinator. 

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