Care Van will bring health care and health education to underserved communities
Underserved communities in the El Paso area will now have access to preventive and primary care right in their neighborhoods. The Caring for Children Foundation of Texas has generously donated the full-time, exclusive use of a Care Van mobile health unit to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso to address the great need for access to health care in the Paso del Norte region. The van will be used by the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s Mobile Medical Student Run Clinic, the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso (TTP El Paso) Family and Community Medicine Clinic at Kenworthy, and the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine’s public clinic.
The van was delivered to the university just as third-and-fourth-year Foster School of Medicine students, under the guidance and supervision of faculty physicians, were launching the Mobile Medical Student Run Clinic. The mobile clinic’s services will include early childhood vaccinations, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, and other important medical tests.
The communities and colonias to be served by the mobile clinic are located in the Montana Vista and Sparks areas just outside El Paso city limits. Vaccination services offered by the mobile clinic, with help from Immunize El Paso, are especially important because parents can have infants and young children vaccinated early, rather than waiting until they begin school.
In addition to the Mobile Medical Student Run Clinic, the van will be used for outreach by the TTP El Paso Family and Community Clinic at Kenworthy. The clinic will carry out medical education, conduct cancer screenings and administer vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV), along with other services. HPV vaccinations are crucial for protecting teenagers and young adults from HPV infections, which can lead to cervical and other types of cancer.
The Hunt School of Dental Medicine’s clinic will use the van initially to offer cleanings, screenings and fluoride treatments, with the eventual goal of providing cavity filling procedures and other services.
The Care Van will run six days a week in various locations. The Caring for Children Foundation of Texas, which is sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, purchased the van and will pay all costs associated with its use, including insurance, maintenance, tolls and gas.
TTUHSC El Paso’s new Care Van will provide quality health care while promoting the university’s mission of improving the lives of people in our community by focusing on the unique health care needs of the border population through education, research and patient care.