Mobile Medical Units bring primary care to low-income and medically underserved patients in San Diego County
As one of the nation’s ten largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FHQC), Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) provides, affordable, high-quality healthcare to over 227,000 patients a year across San Diego County. With a special commitment to helping the insured, low-income, and medically underserved, FHCSD is the largest healthcare safety-net provider, largest school-based healthcare provider, and largest comprehensive HIV and AIDS services provider in the San Diego region.
FHCSD’s Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) is comprised of three converted buses and each serves as a primary care clinic on wheels. They help remove barriers to care by traveling to multiple locations throughout the region. Each MMU includes two private exam rooms, a nursing station, a lab, and a restroom and its clinicians can provide a number of healthcare services, including:
- Well visit check-ups
- Preventative care
- Illness management
- Health screenings
- Referrals for follow-up care
A grant from the Maximus Foundation, among other sources, helped enable the three MMUs to provide medical care for more than 2,500 unique low-income patients. In addition to the MMUs, the Family Health Centers of San Diego also has two Mobile Counseling Centers to help address mental health needs.
FHCSD staff members shared an example of how the MMUs make a difference:
We recently saw a man for a routine physical, who informed us he had not seen a doctor in more than a year. Upon listening to the patient’s lungs, the provider noticed wheezing symptoms. Routine blood work also indicated that the patient had a sexually transmitted infection. The patient was unaware of these health concerns and was both treated and referred to a community clinic site, where he was able to establish a medical home for follow-up care. In many cases, MMU providers detect communicable diseases or unmanaged, chronic health concerns that could put a patient’s life at risk if untreated.