by Jo Mayer and Paul Crandall
At last, summer is in the air. With it comes the welcome return of mobile health care to the Stockbridge area, offering no-charge services on a drop-in basis.
Staffed by physicians and nurses and dedicated to providing care to those who lack access , the Sparrow Mobile Health Unit offers a wide variety of services. This free medical-clinic-on-wheels will be stationed in the Stockbridge Community Outreach parking lot (off the corner of Cherry and Elm streets) from 1-5 p.m. on Monday, June 12.
The clinic — a joint effort of the Sparrow Residency Clinic and the state’s Population Health Department — offers health screenings, physician visits, patient education and more.
Stockbridge Community Outreach Director Gwen Reid, who had a hand in coordinating the visit, summed it up this way:
“This mobile clinic is like going to a brick-and-mortar doctor’s office. Some of the things they can do include sports physicals, wellness exams, gynecological exams, strep tests, glucose tests, and blood pressure and cholesterol checks.” Reid added, “The doctor can also write prescriptions and refer patients for mammograms or to see a specialist or surgeon.”
Reid also explained that for patients in the EPIC electronic medical records system, like MySparrow or MyChart, the clinic can access notes from past visits and previous lab test results
The clinic’s first visit to our area, last October, served 13 patients, which was about the maximum staff could handle in the four-hour span it was available. Services included mental health referrals, medication ordering, insurance coordination and even scheduling of surgeries.
“People were thrilled to be able to get these things done easily without an appointment, without insurance and without going out of town.” Reid said.
During that visit, the Ingham County Health Department took part in vaccinations, including for COVID. Looking ahead beyond the upcoming June visit, ICHD is expected to accompany a return visit by the mobile clinic on September 25, again offering vaccinations, information and referrals. Delta Dental may also be onsite then, offering basic dental services and consultations.
Through several Lansing area clinics, ICHD offers a range of services, from women’s healthcare to primary, pediatric, and behavioral healthcare, and even dental care. Ingham Community Health Centers accept all insurances and also operate on a sliding-fee scale, with services provided without regard to the patient’s insurance status or ability to pay.
The closest Ingham County Health Center to Stockbridge is about 35 minutes away. For more info, check out their website at https://hd.ingham.org/SeekingCare/CommunityHealthCenters.aspx
Watch for the mobile clinic to arrive on the afternoon of June 12. Visits are available on a drop-in basis. More information about the September 25 mobile clinic visit will be available later this summer.
This column is sponsored by Stockbridge Community Outreach, our local food pantry, crisis, and referral center located in the Stockbridge Activity Center (old middle school) near Cherry and Elm streets in Stockbridge. Office hours are 1-3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and by appointment. Outreach49285@gmail.com, 517-851-7285, or find us on Facebook.