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Healthcare for The Homeless New Mobile Unit Launched

A Natrona County Community Action services provider, Homeless health care, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new mobile clinic in Conwell Park on Friday. There will also be a block party on August 13 at the Life Steps Campus, with everyone in the community invited to attend.

Transportation is a major barrier to the Homeless population for accessing care, the clinic’s medical director Jennifer Helmer told Oil City News on Friday. She said that a mobile clinic had been a dream for the Federally Qualified Health Center for several years. Helmer said that they were able to purchase the brand-new Thor Access RV, complete with an exam room and vaccine refrigerator, through CARES funds. It will be used for COVID-19 vaccination and testing but will also serve the organization’s existing mission to provide primary care.

The mobile unit arrived in January and has been in service from the early summer months, supplementing services provided at on-site clinics at Life Steps Campus and Wyoming Rescue Mission. Case Manager Heidi Donaldson said that the Homeless population includes not just the unsheltered but those who are staying with family or in transitional housing.

Cyndi Miller works in billing and administration. Said that they could be there tomorrow. Donaldson said their patients struggle with diabetes, mental health, and other chronic illnesses that also affect the greater population. The ones without insurance, end up using the emergency room as a de facto primary Health care physician and to get prescriptions refilled.  Expanding Medicaid in Wyoming would be a major help to correcting this problem as some if not all of the clinic’s patients would qualify. According to the Wyoming Department of Health, expanding Medicaid would have helped enroll anywhere between 13,000 and 38,000 people in the state, as well as lowered health insurance rates.

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