At first glance, they look like RVs. But a closer look at the two giant trucks reveals the words “Mobile Health Unit” emblazoned on the side.
“The units that we have are basically a clinic-on-wheels. Each mobile unit we have two ‘clinic’ rooms that are just basically like a doctor’s office that you’d go to in a stationary clinic,” said Matthew Hunt, director of WKU’s Institute for Rural Health. “Regardless of location, we can see the patient and that’s a nice thing. We reduce barriers of transportation and take the services directly to the patient.”
The program recently received a $50,000 gift from the Good Samaritan Foundation to be used for supplies and an $8,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Public Health to continue a program that brings free dental care to hundreds of school children in Allen County.
“It’s very expensive to offer these services to the community. These funding sources will help us purchase much-needed medical supplies such as gloves, flu vaccines and new portable equipment,” said Hunt.
The Department for Public Health says cantaloupes tested in the state public health laboratory in Kentucky carry the same strain of salmonella associated with a statewide outbreak that health officials say is continuing. At least fifty people have been sickened by the salmonella, and health officials say it has been associated with two deaths.